How will my first tournament post ban/restricted list fair?
It’s been a while but I was back at the store tournament scene after my back-to-back Grand Clashes. This time I was back at Marquee Models for my 4th time on a chilly British Saturday. Before the ban/restricted list I was planning to take the Cursebreakers but with the new shocking revelations I knew it was Sepulchral Guard time!
Created on the GW deck builder, my list was ready. Instead of going for a Hold Objective playstyle, I went for Flex play that excelled at holding objectives while also being good at board control. I did have aggressive objectives but only Skills Unforgotten required me to kill an enemy fighter. What Armour? just required the Champion to damage someone and Change of Tactics only required a model to simply charge. Martyred was there because Sepulchral Guard rarely kill first and would give me the glory needed to get going. Keep Them Guessing was very easy to get with the Warden’s move 2 fighters action counting as 2 requirements for the card with a single activation.
Restricted card wise my choices were: Change of Tactics (very easy to score), Escalation (Skelies bleed a lot of glory), Extreme Flanks (too easy), Fired Up (actually quite reliably easy to score) and finally Ready for Action (charge and attack or move).
Upgrades mainly just covered mobility and damaging upgrades to punish anyone who came close to me. Spectral Wings allowed super speedy skeletons while Regal Vision and Inspiration Strikes were 2 instant inspire cards which help out the Sepulchral Guard a lot and synergised with my objectives. Mirror Move was to counter pushes as well as to counter anyone using Earthquake to stop me scoring Extreme Flanks.
I had no preparation with the warband or decklist but I did play Sepulchral Guard for a solid month back around June so I felt that I had a good head on how to use them. Still, it was time for trial by fire!
Firstly I was facing off against Owen and his Cursebreakers. He too was using a newly untested warband post ban-restricted list so we were both in the same boat.
Losing boards, I chose the following:
Slowly becoming a favourite of mine, the 2 blocked and lethal hexes give it a good mix. It also has a very balanced set of starting hexes which is very important for the Sepulchral Guard with their 7 fighters.
After setup was done, I lost priority and this was made to go first. After setting up my fighters onto 3 of my objectives, I began throwing my fighters into Stormsire to wear him down. Finally the Champion died and scored me Martyred. Wrapping up the 1st end phase, I scored Extreme Flank and Our Only Way Out.
Phase 2 had me slightly behind but with both the Champion and Harvester dead although now the warden was inspired with Glory Seeker. I spent the phase baiting out Fulminations and then charged the Warden off an objective and into Ammis during my last activation. With 2 crits and a smash, she was dead which scored me Skills Unforgotten. Averon moved away so then I played Ready for Action to move the Warden back onto the objective to score me Supremacy and Escalation.
Phase 3 had me simply harass the enemy as I scored all my kill objectives. The Warden achieved Change of Tactics while a resurrected Champion got What Armour? Somehow my skellies survived being attacked and I was able to unlock Superior Tactician which closed the game out on a very close 17/14 win to me.
Game 2 had me use the same board with another loss at picking boards. Going first I quickly setup control of my 3 objectives and began drawing power cards. I took a loss but was able to score Supremacy and Our Only Way Out with a little help from Martyred.
Phase 2 was where I began going for the kill. The Champion continued smashing into Stormcast while the Warden advanced. Fulmination continued to fail by rolling no focuses so the undead advance continued. I closed out the phase scoring more of my general passives now that I had no need for objectives.
Phase 3 had the Champion somehow survive an attack from inspired Ammis. He struck back and did 2 wounds but she was then equipped with Sudden Growth. Averon moved up while the Warden went on guard. Fulmination failed to go off again so the Warden charged Ammis thanks to Spectral Wings. With Great Strength (and supports) the Warden killed the Evocator and scored Skills Unforgotten along with Change of Tactics. Averon killed the Champion in return but it was too late. I simply moved a brave Petitioner to score Keep Them Guessing as well as Superior Tactician, ending the game 19/11 to me.
Owen was a great opponent to play who’s tough Cursebreakers almost pulled ahead against my Sepulchral Guard with his overwhelmingly offensive Stormcast.
Ironskull’s Boyz were my next opponent, headed by Mark who TO’d Marquee Model’s last tournament. It’s always great to see TO’s actively play the game, especially as they don’t have to.
Winning boards, I stuck with the old faithful:
Going first, I decided to hold onto my hand of Supremacy and Our Only Way Out. I tried playing for the 3rd objective but Mark was wise to it and used Distraction to push me off after my 3rd activation and then charged Gurzag on to it. Abandoning the idea, I was at least able to score Martyred and Shining Example as well as kill Gurzag via boney attrition (and lethal hexes).
Phase 2 had a new hand of Extreme Flank, Keep Them Guessing and Change of Tactics. With subterfuge and fearless charges, I was able to achieve all 3 while killing Hakka including surviving the wrath of Bonekutta. Phase 3 was trying to score my remaining objectives. Once again the Champion got What Armour? while the Warden achieved Skills Unforgotten by impaling Bonekutta on his spear. After the dust had settled I had won 19/5.
Game 2 had me lose boards so I went for something different:
It was time for the Cog board! Lethal hexes galore. Allowed to go first, I simply used the warden to move 2 skeletons out of charge range. Free from Greenskin harassment, I moved my next 2 warriors onto objectives and drew the cards I need. Mark used Distraction but I countered with Quick Advance. Phase 1 ended with me scoring Supremacy, Our Only Way Out and Fired Up.
In phase 2 the Orruks hit back. Thankfully this was just what I needed to score Martyred. As my opponent quickly racked up glory, I used my own to kill the Greenskins that came too close. In phase 3 I quickly killed Gurzag and managed to dispatch the rest of the Boyz closing out on a 23/11 win to me as I somehow managed to achieve all bar one of my objectives.
It was great to play Orruks again and Mark used them well. I was just able to exploit my positioning at key moments to catch him off-guard with amazing speedy skeletons. Also crits for defence help too.
For the final round it was me vs Rob and his Steelheart’s Champions. I knew he was playing control/turtle and I wasn’t looking forwards to it. That style was a hard counter to Sepulchral Guard before the ban/restricted list hit so I was unsure how the game would go.
Losing boards, I went for my anti-turtle board:
The Cogs board is amazing against length-ways play which I knew would be used. Either side has advantageous starting hexes for aggro play and closing the distance.
Thanks to sneaky objective token placement, I denied my opponent having an objective token deep in his territory and allowed a decent stepping stone of objectives for myself. Going first, I simply moved up and was able to score Supremacy and Extreme Flanks while Rob just drew cards.
In phase 2, I inspired the Champion and charged into Sevrin, scoring What Armour? Next I played Acrobatic on him and then reacted with Ready for Action and killed the Stormcast leader! Things were looking good. The Stormcast continued to draw cards and then I was forced to use Hidden Paths, placing within range of Brightshield and Obryn. I attacked the latter but failed to hit and he then inspired.
Now neck and neck, phase 3 had me go first. The Harvester charged into Obryn but rolled no smashes with his Mutating Maul set to cleave. Thus he was promptly killed by Obryn. The Champion then charged in and brought him down to 3 wounds. Obryn hit back and he too was killed. The Warden attacked, now able to kill the Stormcast, but failed to roll any smashes on 3 dice. Obyrn then promptly disappeared with Hidden Paths. Unable to use Faneway Crystal to catch him due to Earthquake, I ended up losing 7/16.
Going into game 2 I won the board roll!
It was the return of the aggro pyramid. The Champion was set up furthest with the Warden to his right and the Prince of Dust to his left. In order to guarantee What Armour? I first put the Warden on guard. Knowing I had Spectral Wings from the last game, Rob pushed him back with Distraction. Just as planned. I moved up the Warden onto a nearby advanced objective and played Regal Vision to inspire him. Continuing to draw cards, I inspired the Champion with Inspiration Strikes and charged Sevrin to score What Armour? Along with Keep Them Guessing and Our Only Way Out.
Winning priority, the Champion cut down Sevrin. With more cards drawn, I decided to charge with the Warden. Obryn was stuck in a corner and I had Great Strength. Taking the gamble, I charged in with 2 smashes and a crit! Obryn which scored me Skills Unforgotten. With the game pretty much in the bag I just focused on racking up as much glory as possible. Phase 3 had a wounded Brightshield use Hidden Paths next to a Petitioner but I used Quick Advance to keep him safe. Securing my neutrals, the game ended with a 20/9 win to me.
With just about 10 minutes left, we decided to call it there. I’ve spoken previously about this and in fact the first time I was at this store, I messed up my chances of winning by gambling on a new game with 10 minutes left to go. This time I took the agreement and it turned out I won the 3rd round by a glory difference of +2! I preferred a 3rd game but end phase 1 would have been the furthest we got. Still it was a great final against a great opponent.
After weeks of failure I had finally won with the Sepulchral Guard! I even scored the most glory at 105 in total with Rob behind me at 84. I don’t think this would have been possible pre-ban/restricted list due to how badly Great Concussion destroyed the Guard because of the spacing it caused as well as objective denial. Quick Thinker would have prevented most of my charges too for scoring What Armour.
Overall it was an awesome tournament and everyone loved the ban/restricted list. There was even a nice mix of warbands too. Remember to check out Underworlds Events for the latest clashes near you including around the world (just remember it’s down to the public to submit tournaments/events) and also come down to Marquee Models as they always run very smooth events while also having a great crowd of players.
As for what’s next, I’ll be working on Tzeentch as well as deciding what to run competitively considering my Skaven took a massive hit and may not be able to function as well as they did before. After all, I’ve got to go for that 3rd Grand Clash win. Still, the future is full of crits.