It’s more fun when it’s in a 3-way.
Saturday saw me play at the UK Team Championship 2018 for Warhammer Underworlds up in Milton Keynes. I was very excited for this event. Since it was first announced months ago I had been deciding upon a team, plotting tactics as well as bigging up the tournament.
The UKTC works by having a team of 3 players with a captain. All players must use different warbands. Matches are determined by swiss pairings between teams. Once rounds are set, the team captains have a coin toss with the winner deciding the first pairing. The other captain then choses the next person to be paired with and the last 2 players face off with each other. Effectively meaning going 2nd allows you to decide 2 match-ups whereas going first allows you to pick the most desirable one. A minimum of 2 wins are required for your team to progress with a matchup draw going to the player with the higher scored glory.
For my team, I had assembled a pair of trophy-obsessed monsters. Just like me.
Firstly we have Alec. He won the London GT Grand Clash, is a regular gaming buddy of mine and has his own decent collection of glass. To me, he’s the best Reaver player in the world and would destroy all opponents we faced.
Next we have David. Another regular gaming buddy of mine, he hits the tournament scene hard like me and probably has the 2nd most Underworlds trophies at 10 after me with 13. Not to mention that he came 2nd at the UK Game Expo Grand Clash. He’s won trophies with a multitude of warbands and has a wide flexibility of play. People would underestimate him at their folly.
With my teammates assembled, all that was left were warbands. Alec had Garek’s Reavers, David had Magore’s Fiends and I decided to go with my faithful Skaven over the Thorns due to the Time Trap FAQ and also my long experience with them.
Our decklists are as follows:
While I had been playing other warbands to win trophies with (not at all challenged by a certain Jay) it was also to secretly build up my matchup knowledge in a far greater fashion for myself but also for the team. I’ve played against every warband but now I was using every common playstyle for each one to thoroughly find all the strengths and weakness for each warband. There’s only so much theory-crafting can do.
With weeks of prep-work done, our tactics would be simple. If we won the coin toss I would choose the strongest player on the opposing team or the matchup that my teammates found the most difficulties with. If we lost the coin toss I expected me to be the first player chosen or David as people would generally know less about him and think him the easiest person to target which was my perfect trap. I had a team of sharks and nowhere was safe.
Round 1 – HATE
Virgin Trains almost won round 1. Long story short, Milton Keynes was skipped while me and my HATE mates were on-board without telling us. We quickly messaged our teammates at the event and managed to get both our teams paired with each other because we were the only players missing and the TOs were kind enough to allow it as our projected arrival time was 11am. After going all the way to Coventry and then back to Milton Keynes, we made it and started play 20 minutes into round 1.
After that debacle, it was HATE vs Can You Roll a Crit? A London cannibalism situation. The coin toss had happened without me and Paul (their Reaver player) picked David. As team leader I decided for Alec to play Paul (not to be confused with Paul) who was running the Farstriders leaving me against Jack and his Chosen Axes.
Game 1 started of with me losing board placement. All the objectives were placed very close to no man’s land. In my first hand I had Rebound and Quick Thinker so I was confident in my actions. Going first, I moved Lurking Skaven out of charge range. I sat back while the Dwarfs moved onto objectives. Inspiring Skritch via Sidestep, he charged into Tefk but rolled a fury and a support. I ended phase 1 with Great Concussion to null any objectives as well as enemy inspiring but Grimnir still managed to inspire.
Phase 2 had me lose priority. Grimnir charged Skritch but I used Quick Thinker to get out-of-the-way. Jack then played Time Trap and charged again rolling 2 smashes. Failing to dodge, I played Rebound but rolled a block and Skritch was dead. Putting Krrk on guard, he charged and killed Tefk with Trap netting me 3 glory thanks to Advancing Strike as well as Change of Tactics. Still, he was killed by Vol who charged in and Twisted the Knife.
Phase 3 left me with 3 clanrats. I managed to kill Maelgrim via Shadeglass Dagger but that was all I could do that phase. Despite not losing a clanrat the game ended on a 5/7 loss to me.
Game 2 began the same as the first but this time the Fyre Slayers deployed further back. Putting Krrk on guard, he charged into Vol who was on an objective. No damage was scored but I pushed him back while scoring Change of Tactics. I then inspired Krrk with Sidestep helping him survive the counter-charges. Next I played Awakened Weapon on Skritch. Just before my 4th activation I played Hidden Paths and placed Skritch next to Krrk and Vol. Attacking, I rolled a Crit and smash to kill Vol and score Advancing Strike along with Precise Use of Force. Using Great Strength and Ready for Action, Skritch rolled 2 smashes and Mad Maelgrim was gone too.
In phase 2 I waited for the remaining 2 dwarfs to move up. Tefk moved onto an objective. Skritch charged into Grimnir, rolling a crit and a smash which resulted in a Victorious Duel and Skritch is the Greatest. Closing out the phase, I gave him Deathly Fortitude.
Winning priority for phase 3, Skritch struck first. With a smash, inspired Tefk died. After cycling cards, the round ended on a 15/1 win to me.
Game 3 started the same as the previous set. I first moved Lurking out-of-the-way and then put Skritch on guard for my 2nd activation. For my 3rd, Skritch who was inspired, charged in and killed Tefk, triggering Change of Tactics as well as Precise Use of Force. With Incredible Strength then Ready for Action, Skritch killed Mad Maelgrim scoring Skritch is the Greatest. With no power cards from Jack I then played Time Trap. Charging into Grimnir, I rolled 2 crits resulting in another Victorious Duel. I ended my power step by playing Illusory Fighter to put Skritch back on the edge of my territory while leaving Vol alone.
Vol started phase 2 inspired. He charged into Krrk, killing him. Skritch then charged over, plunging his spear deep into Dwarven flesh via 2 smashes. With the last dwarf gone, phase 2 and 3 were spent cycling cards. Game 3 ended with a 19/1 victory to me.
Somehow we had finished 3 games in 40 minutes while everyone else was still playing. Due to tournament rules I was not allowed to talk to teammates until after the games were done so all I could do was watch. As for my teammates, Alec and Paul went to a 1-1 draw because they lacked time for a 3rd game. Alec got the win via scoring more glory. David managed to pull a 2-0 win so we had secured our next round with a 3-0 team win. It was just a shame we had to fight the HATE boys who were amazing opponents.
Round 2 – Skritch is a £#@$
Going into round 2, my team was up against fellow Londoners once again! We all knew each other inside and out so it was going to be another tough one. Losing the coin toss, David was picked to fight against Orruks. First I picked me to play the Skaven player Mark and Alec to play their Reaver player Tom. However, I changed my mind just before we started partly to stop 4 people playing mirror matches and also to get past my Reaver fear.
An interesting note, my following 3 rounds were all streamed on the UKTC Twitch channel so check them and watch my round 2 game here if you’re interested. Either watch it instead of reading the write-up or after so it all clicks etc. Also subscribe to them for permanent access and because they’re awesome guys.
Game 1 started with me against Tom and his Reavers, another regular opponent and mate. Winning boards, I placed it so that the Reavers had no edge hexes at the back. Going first, Arnulf ran onto an objective. Putting Krrk on guard, Targor went onto another objective. Krrk charged in with a smash but Targor defended using a crit. Still I had scored Change of Tactics. Taking the bait, Tom charged Saek into Krrk. Rebound failed me and my rat died. Next I gave Skritch Awakened Weapon and charged him into Arnulf. With a crit and a smash, the Reaver died and I scored Precise Use of Force as well as Skritch is the Greatest. Karsus charged in but Skritch defended with a crit of his own. I was now up in glory and successfully denied my opponent any by stopping his Supremacy.
Letting Tom go first in phase 2, Saek charged into Skritch to which I responded with Quick Thinker. Then he played Time Trap and charged again but I was able to defend with crits. I then played Musk of Fear to inspire Skritch and put him on guard. He hit at Saek who was saved by a Soul Trap. Garek played Blood Offering on himself so I played Deathly Fortitude on Skritch. He charged in with a single crit on 4 dice yet Skritch blocked him back with another crit and a block. Swinging back, I failed to get any hits despite having Awakened Weapon. Targor charged in and Twisted the Knife to leave Skritch with 3 wounds. Skritch then plunged his spear deep into Garek with a crit and a smash to score me Advancing Strike. The phase ended with me scoring Shining Example and Honed Survival Instincts.
Losing priority for phase 3, Saek charged into Skritch. This time his smashes came through and Skritch was slain. With no one in range I just cycled through cards and the game ended with a 14/9 win to me.
Game 2 began in a similar fashion. Going first, Krrk charged into Targor who Quick Thinker’d away on to an objective. Using Inspired Command to put Karsus on guard, I then played Sidestep to push Krrk back to inspire him. Karsus charged in with a crit and a fury. Only able to roll a single block, Krrk died and Karsus was equipped with Deathly Fortitude. Giving Skritch Awakened Weapon, he charged and killed Arnulf with a smash to net 3 glory from Precise Use of Force and Advancing Strike. Next I gave Skritch Great Strength and played Time Trap to have him charge into Garek. With 2 smashes, the enemy leader died and I scored Skritch is the Greatest. I then used Illusory Fighter to bring Skritch back safely. Tom moved Saek onto an objective and played Time Trap to have Karsus move onto another. He scored Supremacy while I scored Alone in the Darkness, Shining Example and Master of War leaving me with 9 glory to his 5.
Letting Tom go first, Saek charged into Skritch. Using Quick Thinker, my boss was safe. Tom then used Read for Action to move Saek away. I then move Festering Skaven in front of Skritch and played Confusion to switch the 2 fighters. Then I used Ready for Action to move Skritch again next to Saek. I closed out phase 2 with a single crit to end Bloody Saek.
Losing priority, Karsus began phase 3 by killing Skritch with a crit and a fury. I played Musk of Fear on Lurking Skaven and charged into Karsus. Rolling 3 smashes he missed but scored me Change of Tactics. Targor charged in with 5 dice on his Shadeglass Dagger but Lurking rolled a crit to keep him safe. Karsus then swatted him to death. Using Hidden Paths, Hungering Skaven killed Targor with a crit-powered Shadeglass Hammer but was then killed by Karsus. Scoring Superior Tactician and Escalation, I won game 2 19/17.
After that bloody affair, David won his game 2-1 and Alec won 2-1. At the end of another London scrum my team had pulled out another 3-0 win against tough opponents. It was a shame we had to knock out another local team of friends.
Round 3 – Steel City Relics
For round 3 we were up against the Sheffield guys and cemented our position on table 1 as top of the tournament. It was a matchup I was ready for. Winning to the coin toss, I picked Michael and his Farstriders as they would give the rest of my team the most trouble plus I had beaten him before back when I played up in Sheffield at the Outpost many months ago. I was hoping that Ian (their Stormcast player) would pick David and Tom to choose Alec, which was exactly what happened to my joy.
In London we have a long history with taking apart defensive play and knew that the Sheffield guys excelled at it. My Skaven were developed partly by me to dismantle such a playstyle while David and Alec both have numerous ways to counter it, which was very deceiving in regards to David’s Fiends. In the Reaver mirror, I had complete faith in Alec.
If you want to watch the set, click here.
Losing the board, I placed the Cog lethal board in preparation for length-ways which I correctly predicted. Given the option to go first, Skritch was in charge range already. I could have charged in but I expected a Quick Thinker so I simply drew a card. In the power step Michael played Great Concussion to space us apart. After he drew a power card, I used Great Concussion to push my fighters forwards. Then I moved Krrk out of a lethal hex he was previously pushed into and placed him in front of Skritch. With Confusion, I inspired both fighters and gave Skritch another free push. Upon drawing another power card, I responded with a charge. Farstrider was saved by Quick Thinker so I used Illusory Fighter to bring Skritch back safely. I had scored Shining Example but was 1 glory behind. I decided not to spend it.
In phase 2 I let Michael go first. He moved Farstrider back so I drew a card. He then put a Stormcast on Guard after I moved Krrk up behind a blocked hex. I then move Skritch up 5 hexes. Skritch took a charge but successfully defended with a crit. The enemy fighter had trapped himself so I played Sidestep to push Skritch into range. My opponent responded with Ready for Action but I was able to defend with another crit. Playing Great Strength and Ready for Action, Skritch rolled 2 smashes. With no crits to defend, the enemy died so I scored Advancing Strike and Precise Use of Force. I drew a power card and ended out phase 2 with Musk of Fear to score Ploymaster and Honed Survival Instincts.
Losing priority, Farstrider charged Skritch with his Flashing Hand Axe and Deathly Fortitude yet Skritch defended with a crit. Playing Time Trap, he swung again but crits once again struck true. Just to keep Skritch safe, I gave him Deathly Fortitude. With Sneaky Stab-Stab he pushed himself away and swung. Rolling a crit and using Trap, I pushed back Farstrider into his own fighter. Skipping his activation, I placed Festering Skaven infront of Farstrider with Hidden Paths. Skritch then pushed and attack the now trapped Farstrider. With 2 smashes to a single block, the enemy leader died and I scored Skritch is the greatest. Tanking a charge in response, Skritch killed the last Stormcast and ending the game on a 10/4 win to me.
Game 2 had me win boards. Going first, I simply put Skritch on guard to bait out another Great Concussion and fake having Change of Tactics. My plan paid off as Michael drew a card and then played Great Concussion to push Skritch off the edge. I then drew a card while he did the same. Before my 3rd activation I used Sidestep then Hidden Paths to place Skritch next to the trapped Farstrider. Rangers Advance was played so now Farstrider wasn’t trapped but Skritch was surrounded by 3 Stormcast. Ignoring the odds, I attacked Farstrider. With a single crit and Trap, he was dead. I then played Time Trap and attack another fighter but my smash was cancelled out with a block. Then I used Illusory Fighter to bring Skritch home. The other Stormcast used Hidden Paths to get next to Hungering and killed him with a smash/crit combo. He then shot Lurking who successfully dodged.
Phase 2 had Lurking survive another barrage from the Farstrider. After 4 activations of guarding, the Stormcast charged Krrk and killed him with Great Strength. Using Ready for Action he shot at Festering Skaven who dodged out-of-the-way. Skritch then charged and killed the Farstrider with a single smash and scoring Change of Tactics. With Honed Survival Instincts and Ploymaster, I was now ahead by 1.
Starting phase 3 with a charge, Skritch was avoided via Quick Thinker. The rest of the phase was spent cycling cards and moving up. Thanks to Alone in the Darkness, Master of War and A Destiny to Meet, I had won the game 9/7.
I had won 2-0! David won his game due to tie breaker rules and having scored more glory overall while Alec had also won 2-0 with a little help from Grisly Trophies. It was a tough but an enjoyable set of games, definitely our toughest yet. We had pulled off another 3-0 team win and now the finals against Jay Clare’s team awaited.
Round 4 – The Missing Relics
It was finals time. The 2 undefeated teams facing off with each other with my team currently ranked 1st. Jay’s team consisted of himself (Thorns of the Briar Queen), Jamie Giblin (Skaven) and their mate Bax (Farstriders) who were all very strong players in their own rights. After discussing with my teammates, I settled on my picks. Winning the coin toss, I really wanted to pick Jay but I went with the needs of the team and chose Bax. David was then picked to play Jamie and Jay against Alec, which I expected. With that the finals began.
If you would like to watch the set, click here.
Winning boards, Bax went first and charged. I should have played Quick Thinker but I decided to hold off against my better judgement. The Stormcast cut through my defences and Rebound failed me, conceding an Advancing Strike. Krrk charged back and did 2 damage. Surviving a counter-charge, Skritch charged and killed the wounded Stormcast.
Going first in phase 2, Skritch killed the inspired Stormcast with a single smash thanks to Great Strength. Bax then used Great Concussion to move up and charged my 2 clanrats at the bottom. Quick Thinker saved Hungering while Festering was able to fend of Farstrider’s attack. Skritch smashed into Farstrider with a crit who lived thanks to Great Fortitude.
Phase 3 had Skritch attack Farstrider but failed to get through his blocks and so pushed him back. After charging and killing Festering, Skritch hit back but was crit’d off. Using Illusory Fighter to get a support, Skritch attacked again but only rolled a single smash to Farstrider’s 2 blocks. Unable to kill him, the game ended in a 5/10, loss to me.
Game 2 had me win boards again. A Farstrider charged but I Quick Thinker’d out-of-the-way yet still taking 1 damage from boltstorm pistol. Standing off as the Stormcast advanced, Skritch charged but failed, being brought back with Illusory Fighter. Farstrider charged in and killed the wounded clanrat. I then used Great Concussion to push Farstrider into a lethal hex.
Down 3/1 on glory, Farstrider went first and killed Krrk with the bird. Skritch then hit the Stormcast within range. A single smash and Trap meant the fighter died. Farstrider then shot at killed another clanrat with the bird. Skritch charged into Farstrider who now had Great Fortitude but was crit’d off. Playing confusion, I swapped Skritch into a lethal hex but was safe as it was not a push or move. I then gave him the Shadeglass Hammer and played Ready for Action. With a smash and a crit, Farstrider was dead, scoring me Victorious Duel and Precise Use of Force.
Going into phase 3, I upgraded Skritch with Deathly Fortitude and Acrobatic then put him on guard. He charged into the last Farstrider who Quick Thinker’d away but I still scored Change of Tactics. Using Time Trap I charged again but was crit’d back. The last Farstrider hit back for 3 activations but Skritch survived via his defensive crits and I ended up winning 12/8.
In game 3 I won boards again. Going first, I put Lurking Skaven on guard. Next I put Skritch on guard. Lurking then charged but rolled a smash. No damage was done yet I did score Change of Tactics. I then played Sidestep to inspire and push him away. The Stormcast charged in with a crit and killed Lurking due to Rebound failing. I then used Hidden Paths to put Skritch next to the Stormcast. Bax played Great Concussion to space apart the fighters so I gave Skritch Awakened Weapon and moved him in range of Farstrider and the Stormcast thanks to Ready for Action. Attacking the latter, 2 smashes left him with 1 wound. Farstrider charged into Krrk but he defended with a crit.
Going into phase 2 I had won priority. Skritch attacked again but his single smash was defended with a block. His target then charged Skritch to which I used Quick Thinker to move him next to Farstrider. He then played Rangers Advance to keep Skritch adjacent but have no supports. I gave Krrk Bodyguard for a Price to put Skritch on guard and Farstrider was equipped with Trusted Defender. Giving him the Shadeglass Dagger, Skritch failed to roll any hits. Farstrider then charged into Hungering Skaven and killed him with a crit.
Now here is where I made an error that I only noticed upon watching the Twitch stream today. I basically did an illegal action unintentionally with Time Trap but neither me or Bax realised. I’ve already apologised to him about it and he was fine with is it as he made a few mistakes too and said I probably still would have won the set. Still it was an error on my part and something I won’t hide away. I moved Krrk behind Farstrider then played Time Trap. Skritch charged and trapped Farstrider. I rolled a single fury and re-rolled for a crit. Farstrider rolled 2 blocks and died scoring me Precise Use of Force. It was an illegal move however and I should have just charged with Krrk and then Time Trap’d to attack again.
Going into phase 3, Skritch took a charge from the wounded Stormcast and was killed with Twist the Knife. I then began cycling cards. On my 3rd activation I moved next to the distant Farstrider and used Confusion to get me into his territory. Krrk took a charged and blocked but was pushed back into no man’s land. I then gave Festering Shadeglass Hammer. He charged and rolled a single smash which was blocked. Going to scoring I had won 12/10.
After the super tough set we had turned to our teammates for their results. Jamie had narrowly beaten David via the glory tiebreaker while Alec had lost 2-0 to Jay. Sadly we had lost 2-1 but we had an amazing time doing so as we each had such a good experience in the finals, easily the best opponents we have had the fortune to play against.
Going to the awards ceremony, I came 2nd in the painting competition and my team had managed to come 2nd overall! While we didn’t manage to pull an overall win, we were very happy with our placing. The team format was just so much fun and I couldn’t have asked for better teammates.
Once again if you wish to see my last 3 rounds on stream, check out the TO’s Twitch channel here. They’re great guys and you should totally come down next year for the UK Team Championships 2019. The format is so enjoyable to play and the TO’s are probably the best I’ve encountered yet. Quick to engage with the community, provide top-notch prize support as well as running a very smooth live-streamed event. Seriously, you will have so much fun. You also get free custom loot like this as well!
With the UKTC out-of-the-way, Blood and Glory will be my next event so please come down as it will be great to see tons of people there. Also I’ll be going over the Eyes of the Nine and Zarbag’s Gitz very soon. So till next time, remember that there are no bad matchups as long as you can always roll crits 😉