December double trouble.
A weekend off for me means a convenient back-to-back tournament weekender!
For Saturday, I made my way down to Southampton for an event at Musketballs 1812. My furthest journey down South so far.
As you may know, I’m on a journey to win a piece of Shadeglass with every warband (seeing as I’ve won 2 Grand Clashes now). Saturday saw the turn of the Chosen Axes. These flaming Duardin have always been on the community claimed “low tier” but perception is not always fact.
I went for a mainly aggro push. Supremacy and Our Only Way Out were there just because the Fyreslayers will be sitting on objectives at some point and it felt more useful than Hold Objectives 1-5. I did consider running a 100% Hold Objective list with keys instead but that’s just not how I like to play. It was also down to my fellow HATErs who helped show me how tough Hold Objective play can be as well as their success with aggro Chosen Axes.
Inspiration Strikes and Regal Vision are the most important ploys in the deck. Regal Vision combos really well with any of the (many) push cards I have. Simply push a Chosen Axe onto an objective in a power step then inspire and charge. These cards become moot if my warband is already inspired but the Dorfs gain so much from inspiration that it’s a necessary inclusion.
Upgrades are all about combat as well as buffing Grimnir. Once he gets rolling it’s very difficult to stop him.
Before going into the games, here’s the helpful terminology box again:
Magore’s Fiends (not friends) would be my first trial by fire. It was a beautifully painted warband headed by the lovely Nathan. Losing boards (yay) I placed this:
Starting with my 3 objectives as far back as possible (but not on edge hexes) I setup first with plans to go 2nd only for my opponent to beat my priority roll even with the free crit! Now forced to go first, I had to quickly adapt my plans. I moved Grimnir onto an objective and tanked a charge from Riptooth thanks to a crit. Vol moved onto my right-most objective which Tefk went on guard. Maegrim took a charge from Magore but barely survived. Tefk then counter charged onto the 3rd objective to hit Magore back and score me Change of Tactics. After a Hidden Paths from Ghartok, I was able to pull off Supremacy, Fired Up and Shining Example.
Winning priority, Inspired Grimnir executed the adjacent Riptooth. Magore then finished off the mad Maegrim. Tefk hit back with 2 crits and a smash to ensure the foe’s death. Zharkus charged into Grimnir and did 2 wounds. Grimnir then charged into Ghartok and killed him with 2 smashes. Vol closed off the phase by decapitating Zharkus with a single crit. Phase 3 was spent cycling cards and using Faneway Crystal to score Supremacy while denying Denial. It ended with a 21/1 win to me.
For game 2 I lost deployment again and stuck with the same board. I moved Vol onto an objective but he was swiftly hit with a crit and a fury by Riptooth who had Great Speed. Magore then inspired who was in range of charging both Tefk and Grimnir. Using my own Inspiration Strikes and Spectral Wings, Grimnir charged into Magore and killed him with a double smash. Fjul thank tanked 3 attacks from Ghartok and Zarkus that left him on a single wound.
Close together on glory, the crucial win on glory allowed me to go first. Grimnir cut down Ghartok while Riptooth slayed Vol. Using Sidestep, Hidden Paths Potion of Rage and Ready for Action, Grimnir appeared next to Riptooth while hitting away only to roll no smashes at all. He quickly died after that. Thanks to Glory Seeker, Tefk charged into Riptooth and cut the Flesh Hound into pieces. Zharkus then charged into Maegrim but was abated by his mad crits for defence.
For phase 3, Maelgrim used Concealed Weapon to great effect thanks to his innate reroll while inspired. Zharkus stood no chance with his crit power. After cycling cards, I won 13/6. While the first game was one-side, game 2 came close to a loss for me to the Khorne ferocity. Still it was an enjoyable game and a great start to the day.
It was time for Chaos gods opposite day as I would be now facing Martin again with his Tzeentch. It’s an interesting matchup and one warband which I’m rarely able to play against. Winning boards I went with the following:
Placing super aggressively, Vol charged and killed Turosh scoring Ferocious Charge. He was then killed by a charging K’Charik. Baiting around charges, I moved Maelgrim and Tefk onto objectives while then using my last activation to get Grimnir on a 3rd with Faneway Crustal. Martin casted Imbue With Life which I countered with Treasure Lust. He then used Centre of Attention to pull Maegrim off an objective.
Ditching Supremacy and Our Only Way Out, I won priority and put Grimnir on guard. Martin did the same with Vortemis. Inspired, I decided to play Spectral Wings. Charging into K’Charik instead of Vortemis, I rolled a single crit which cut the Tzaangor down. This scored me Change of Tactics, What Armour? and Scion of Grimnir. 4 glory for a single kill! Vortemis then moved away while I consolidated on objectives. Tefk charged into Vortemis with Potion of Rage and hit with 5 dice rolling 4 supports and 1 double support…
Phase 3 had Grimnir take a shot from Vortemis which brought him down to 2 wounds. Tefk charged in with Great Strength and Great Strength. Vortemis with Sudden Growth was no match. 2 crits and a smash did 5 damage while the adjacent lethal hex finished him off. The Blue Horror then shot Grimnir, killing him with Pit Trap. Maegrim used Hidden Paths to appear next to Narvia. With a fury and a crit she died to help me score Precise Use of Force. The game ended with a 17/11 win to me.
Game 2 had me lose boards (yesss) so I went with my standard 2nd board:
Martin decided to give setup length-ways so I placed my 3 objectives deep on my side with Grimnir protecting the front. After moving Tefk and Maegrim onto objectives, K’Charik used Spoils of Battle and Faneway Crystal to get onto my last objective. With Inspiration Strikes, Grimnir charged and roll supports. Finally I used the Earth Shakes to move K’Charik off my objective and charged him with Vol. Doing 2 smashes, the Tzaangor took 2 wounds while being pushed away. After a tense power step, nothing was played and I scored Supremacy, Our Only Way Out and Fired Up! A 6 glory swing to me.
K’Charik charged Grimnir in phase 2 doing 3 wounds. Grimnir swung back, killing the Tzaangor. I played Quick Advance to move Vol and Tefk up off their objectives and then used Treasure Lust to push away to safety on my rear left objective. The phase was closed off by Vol charging into Vortemis who was on the edge and in front of an adjacent fighter. By attacking from the left hex he was now trapped. 2 smashes and Glory Seeker meant the Tzeentch wizard was dead.
Phase 3 had me fail to kill Narvia who had both Sudden Growth and Deathly Fortitude. Maegrim was able to kill Turosh after using Hidden Paths and spending to activations attacking which scored me Precise Use of Force. The game ended with a 21/8 win to me. It was another awesome set of games where it turned out Martin probably would have won if he just setup the Blue Horror in phase 1 of game 2 next to my objectives as it would have disrupted all my plans. Martin admitted he made a lot of mistakes but the game was won (and lost) over the importance of positioning and he still played well despite those errors.
For the finalé I was up against Thorns of the Briar Queen helmed by Mouse. We had last played in July at Dice Saloon where my Sepulchral Guard were able to beat his Chosen Axes but now the tables were turned! Winning deployment, I chose the following:
I placed aggressively and charged Vol into a Chainrasp. Sadly his attack was prevented via a defensive crit. The Ever-hanged then went on guard. Tefk charged to support Vol only to be crit’d back in defence. The Ever-hanged charged Grimnir and brought him down to 2 wounds thanks to double crits. With Change of Tactics, Sudden Growth and Ready for Action, 2 smashes seemed to be the end for Grimnir. Up until I rolled a crit for defence! Finally my powers had returned. I inspired Grimnir to keep him alive and up to 3 wounds. I was unable to damage the Chainrasp but was able to score enough neutral objectives to stay in the game and use the blocking of starting hexes to prevent easy access from the Briar Queen via Sudden Appearance.
Phase 2 began with finally killing the adjacent Chainrasp to trigger Precise Use of Force and Strong Start. As a retaliation, the Ever-hanged killed him thanks to cleave. Grimnir, now with Great Strength, was pushed adjacent to the Ever-hanged. With a crit and a smash the Chainrasp died which scored me Scion of Grimnir. The Queen Charged again with 4 dice but Grimnir’s Fortitude allowed my leader to fend off the attack. Charging back, Grimnir killed the Queen via 2 smashes and scoring Ferocious Charge.
For Phase 3, Tefk and Maegrim had inspired. Channelling his tiny ferocity, Mad Maelgrim cut down an adjacent Chainrasp with 2 fury and a crit. Varclav began positioning himself for a sneaky charge when Tefk appeared next to him via Hidden Paths. With Glory Seeker, 2 crits and a smash, Varclav died and scored me What Armour? which ended the game on a 17/7 win to me.
Game 2 had me win boards again so I kept my board the same. Starting first, Vol charged in, killing the Chainrasp this time to score me Ferocious Charge, Strong Start and Precise Use of Force. The 4 glory boost allowed me to put Grimnir’s Fortitude on again for added protection. The Thorns moved around and then the Ever-hanged charged Grimnir but failed to roll any smashes. Thanks to support from Maelgrim, Grimnir swung back and slayed the ghost to score What Armour? Near the end of the phase, the Briar Queen made her move with Sudden Appearance. She was unable to get adjacent to any fighters due to my placement but did 2 damage 2 the boss regardless. Looking at my objectives, I had nothing that required killing so went and successfully played out for Supremacy.
Phase 2 had my whole warband inspired but with the Briar Queen now on my side of the field. Going first, I used Vol to kill another adjacent Chainrasp as the Queen was only damage 2 still. She hit back and 2 crits brought Grimnir to a single wound. With Awakened Runes and Grimnir’s Speed, my boss charged. The first attack was a failure with supports. Reacting with Oathsworn, I attacked again. This time I rolled a smash then re-rolled the other dice into a crit! Rebound was played but to no avail and so the Queen died scoring me Scion of Grimnir.
Phase 3 had Vol kill Varclav while the last Chainrasp killed Grimnir. Taking the combined efforts of Maegrim and Tefk, the last ghost finally died to a double crit smack down. Game 2 ended with a 20/1 win for me. Despite how 1-sided the glory scores were, the set was very close and I was just able to edge it out via positioning. Mouse played extremely well and has improved so much since we last played together.
After 6 games I had ended up undefeated with 109 total glory scored and a glory difference of +75, my highest for a 3 round tournament so far. It was something I never expected from the Chosen Axes who averaged 20 glory a game but didn’t perform to well in my practice games. With my 1st place finish I had secured my 16th Shadeglass trophy! It was a pleasure to play at Musketballs 1812 who had both amazing staff and players.
With a day free, I set off on my next destination! I was originally going to go Ipswich but waiting to buy my tickets on the day caused them to double in price, teaches me for leaving it to the last-minute. Instead I went to Wayland Games instead. This time I would be using…Eyes of the Nine!
I had opted to go for Hold Objective play which maximised the use of the Horrors. I feel Eyes of the Nine excel best at Hold Objective play and Control play but I prefer the former although I do dislike both styles. No Time was crucial to help me score objectives and I took as many push ploys as possible.
After a few test games the Tzeentch warband performed extremely well, even better than the Chosen Axes so I had high hopes!
I was up against Paul and his lovingly painted Cursebreakers. We had last played months ago when I first came to Wayland so it was interesting to see how things had changed. Losing boards, I placed the following:
Moving fighters onto objectives, Narvia was charged by Ammis who killed her with a double smash and then got equipped with Champion’s Fortitude. K’Charik charged in but was crit’d in defence. I then played Ready for Action with Mutating Maul and Paul reacted with Aggressive Defence. I did 2 damage but then took 2 damage back. With my plan of killing Ammis gone, my Tzaangor was dead to Stormsire.
With things going badly, I abandoned my objective play. I lost Turosh but that was expected. Playing through, I avoided Stormsire and Ammis while trying to whittle down Rastus. I closed out Phase 2 thinking I had scored Extreme Flanks but messed up my positioning meaning I had scored nothing. Accepting defeat, I simply played on, managing to kill Rastus before being wiped out and losing 5/17.
Realising I was playing against the “net deck” version of Cursebreakers, I began using my counter tactics. Winning boards I went for the following:
Setting up length-ways, I still somehow got 3 objectives while also in a position to starve the Cursebreakers who were a hard aggro warband currently. The Cursebreakers began trying to power up while I moved around objectives. Rastus used Hidden Paths to appear next to Turosh so I used Quick Advance to move him and the Blue Horror away. I then casted Abasoth’s Withering to reduce him to 3 wounds. Now inspired, K’Charik charged in with 2 smashes. The first die was a dodge but then re-rolled into a crit via Champions Fortitude. The Tzaangor was slowly killed over 2 phases but it scored me Martyred. I ended ahead thanks to sneakily scoring Making a Statement and Our Only Way Out.
Phase 2 had me move around onto objectives while tanking failed charges and generally staying out of range. Summoner and Supremacy kept me equal. Then in phase 3 I made a miscalculation. I was too focused on No Time and chose to go 2nd when I should have gone 1st to ensure Vortemis stayed alive. Now Ammis charged with Great Strength and killed him. Having lost again, I just focused on scoring Change of Tactics as well as a key to lose 12/17.
It was a tough set not helped by playing against a hard counter to your warband. My inexperience with Eyes of the Nine plus too many mistakes including Paul’s solid play meant defeat was inevitable upon reflection. Winning game 2 was still a possibility but I had thrown it on a rookie mistake of not checking who has what upgrades. While I a hard matchup, I feel the Eyes of the Nine could have still pulled things around.
Sadly I had the buy at this point and was ready to go home due to my terrible performance in round 1. I don’t usually play so badly coupled with the many mistakes I made and getting the buy made waiting 2 hours to play again feel almost like agony but the staff and players encouraged me to stay so I decided to. At least I could work on a new Eyes of the Nine strategy while getting a 2nd game in later.
Buys are just the worst thing ever but an inevitable part of tournament play with odd numbers.
For round 3 I was up against Adam with Tzeentch of his own. Sadly my mind has gone completely blank for this game so it will be rather brief.
Game had me lose boards so I went for a defensive approach. I sat back to secure my 3 objectives while Adam had to come and deal with me. It was still close as we were both able to get our neutrals but I pulled ahead in the 3rd phase to win 18/11.
Game 2 had us evenly match ourselves again yet this time I only had 2 objectives. It was close up until the end of phase 2 where I committed Vortemis too early. He was the target of Abasoth’s Withering and phase 3 saw him die to K’Charik which ended up giving me a tight 10/13 loss.
Game 3 had me with 3 objectives again and sitting on my tiles to get the needed glory. Phase 2 had Vortemis go on killing spree once inspired starting with the death of the enemy K’Charik due to Ready for Action. He killed the remainder of the warband with Piercing Bolt until the enemy Vortemis finally killed him. Still it allowed me to win 20/8. All 3 games were incredibly close with minor rolls and positioning changing the outcomes of the results.
At the end I had managed to get 4th out of 7th so was firmly in the middle. The Eyes of the Nine did alright but Tzeentch was fickle. I needed more time with the warband and a new strategy before returning with them again.
All in all I would highly recommend going to Wayland Games. I’ve been there 3 times now and never had a bad experience. It’s always enjoyable with a great local community. Plus they have rib burgers.
Remember to check out Musketballs 1812 as well Warhammer Underworlds Events which helped me find my tournaments. I haven’t decided what to use next so have a shot of influencing my choice by voting here (note Twitter followers get early access to votes due to how long I take to write articles now 😂😭). No Tzeentch next time as they never seem to be able to roll crits except when it comes to double casting rolls.