4 tournaments in a row! Madness! But there’s always a method to my insanity. This week I was up in the midlands again at Board in Brum for their Warhammer Underworlds tournament. Originally I was unable to make it but I swapped things around as it was the perfect tournament for Grand Clash practice.
As I attend every UK Grand Clash (you’re safe for now, overseas Grand Clashes) I wanted to be more prepared compared to how I was with the Warhammer World January Grand Clash. Despite finishing 21st out of 166 players I still went into it with very little prep work (although I don’t play every day or grind out games constantly, that just hurts your own skills more than helps). A full day of 4 best of 3 games was exactly what I needed to see how I’ve progressed since January with my
That’s right readers, I’m taking a break from winning with every warband. I’ve got 3 left (Garek’s Reavers, Zarbag’s Gitz and Godsworn Hunt) so it’s not a big backlog. I’ve been playing my Farstriders sporadically when I free down in London since January. I feel the deck is sound so all I need is more practice using it. My local London Underworlds league has been amazing practice so I wanted to see how I’d do outside of my London scene.
It’s a secret I’m afraid peeps. Gotta keep some secrets to myself now and again haha. But as a reference, here’s the deck I took to the WHW January Grand Clash:
The obvious red flags are that Deathly Fortitude, Sudden Growth and Superior Tactician are now restricted plus new cards are available thanks to the Godsworn Hunt and Mollog’s Mob expansions. I made some changes of course but it’s all a surprise.
Demonstratable Dice Display:
Farstriders would be my first opponent played by Luke who I was paired up against last week at Phoenix games. This time he was free of the Godsworn Hunt. I’ve never played the mirror match so I was interested to see how it would go. Winning boards, Luke placed the Ruptured Seal while I set the Amber Catacomb wide.
I started off by letting Luke go first. He simply drew a card and I did the same. He then drew again while I charged in with Eagle-Eye. 2 smashes meant the opposing Eagle-Eye took 2 damage. He hit back but I successfully defended with a block. Swiftblade charged in, 2 fury and no crit in defence meant Eagle-Eye died to score me Strong Start. Luke’s Farstride shot but failed to do damage while I used Hidden Paths to get mine into position. I shot but missed as well.
Phase 2 had my entire warband now inspired. I didn’t have much to do but staved off counter attacks from Luke. My Farstrider was able to kill the opposing Farstrider to make it. 3:1 battle. Phase 3 didn’t last much longer as I won priority and quickly cut down the enemy Swiftblade and won 11/6.
Losing the roll-off for game 2 I set the Shattered Refractor while Luke set the Amber Catacomb in diagonal configuration.
Despite the setup things were going well. Farstrider charged into the opposing Farstrider thanks to Spectral Wings but I missed. Luke hit back doing 2 damage. He next played Raptor Strike and used Distraction to push Farstrider into the lethal hex cluster.
Round 2 had me trying to fight off the advancing Farstriders but it was a losing battle. Farstrider inspired via Inspiration Strikes, pushing deeper into my lines. My last 2 fighters managed to survive but were severely wounded. I won priority for phase 3 but was quickly torn apart as my attacks failed to hit. The game ended on a 4/11 loss for me.
Winning boards, Luke placed Mirror Well while I put the Amber Catacomb wide.
I let Luke go first who drew a card then I did the same. He drew again so Eagle-Eye charged, his boltstorm pistol doing 1 damage to Farstrider. He charged back but failed to roll any smashes. Swiftblade charged in, rolling 2 fury and a support. Farstrider took w damage then I reacted with Trap to Kill him. Luke’s Swiftblade charged mine, 2 smashes bringing him down to 2 wounds. Hidden Paths allowed Farstrider to appear next to his Swiftblade and smash him down to 2 wounds.
Now all inspired, I won priority and went first. My Swiftblade charged in. 2 fury and cleave made short work of the opposing Stormcast. My Farstrider began threatening Luke’s Eagle-Eye with his Starfalcon but Luke closed it out by charging Swiftblade and reducing him to 2 wounds. Phase 3 had me retain priority and I charged in Farstrider with his Flashing Handaxe. A smash and a support later left the enemy Eagle-Eye cleaved apart and me with a 15/4 victory.
Godsworn Hunt became my next opponents being commanded by Steven. I lost boards so placed the Cursed Oubliette first which was then set long with the Shattered Tower.
I played quite aggressively first and was making good progress until the Godsworn got going. Phase 1 was safe for me as I was able to kill Grawl but my continuing attacks failed. Eagle-Eye was cut down by an inspired Shond who charged in after Grundann had weakened the target.
Phase 2 had me now fighting off the advancing Chaos barbarians. Farstrider tried shooting Shond but failed to roll any fury. Shond then charged in and cut down Farstrider with a crit. Swiftblade fell back but it was only delaying the inevitable. Phase 3 saw him quickly cut down leaving me on a 7/18 loss.
Losing boards again I expect a long board and set Soul Refractor which was set long with the Shattered Tower.
Steven drew a card then I did the same. He then played Spoils of Battle on Shond and gave him Concealed Weapon. Again expecting this I played Distraction and push Shond out of charge range. Grundann then charged into Eagle-Eye but I successfully defended with a block. I then charged Eagle-Eye backwards, failing to hit Grundann but now safe from charges. Swiftblade shot Grundann while I closed the phase by inspiring Farstrider and shooting Grawl for 1 damage.
Phase 2 began with Jagathra charging and missing with her spear. Swiftblade then shot Grundann for 1 damage. He then charged Eagle-Eye doing 2 damage. Swiftblade charged Grundann, slicing him apart with 2 fury. I then used Raptor Strike on Grawl. Jagathra was shortly killed.
Phase 3 had the rest of the Hunt move up to try to get some glory. Shond was killed by a speeding Farstrider while Jagathra was put down but Eagle-Eye. Threddra was left alive as the blood settled with a 15/5 win to me.
Winning boards Steven again placed the Shattered Tower so I set the Amber Catacomb in diagonal configuration.
Going first Steven drew a card. I put Swiftblade on guard. He then did the same with Grundann so I moved Swiftblade to the top left and out of charge range. Then we both drew cards. Steven drew a card again. Playing Spectral Wings, Farstrider charged in and shot Grawl for 1 damage. I played Raptor Strike to kill him. Next I gave him Champion’s Fortitude and reacted with Ready for Action, shooting Grundann for 1 damage. This all scored me Strong Start, Shining Example and Keep Them Guessing.
Phase 2 had Farstrider charge and kill Grundann but then was brought down to 1 wound via combined charges from Jagathra and Ollo. Eagle-Eye was inspired thanks to Inspiration Strikes and moved up to support Farstrider, tanking a charge from inspired Shond thanks to a crit.
Winning priority, Farstrider shot Shond with my bird. We both rolled crits but this was perfect. I reacted with Trap by driving him back into an edge hex then played Encroaching Shadow to kill him and bypass Last Chance/Dark Destiny. Ollo charged Farstrider to avenge Shond but my double crit defence put an end to that. Farstrider then killed Jagathra with his amazing eagle, moving on to swiftly cut down Theddra. Game 3 ended on a 14/6 win to me.
Oliver and his Cursebreakers would be faced next. Winning boards, he placed Soul Refractor so I set the Amber Catacomb wide.
Phase 1 started well as I advanced up. Rastus castes Empower and charged Eagle-Eye. 2 smashes and a crit brought him down to 2 wounds. He then successfully casted Unfocussed Blast and killed Eagle-Eye! In return I was able to weaken both Rastus and Ammis.
In phase 2 I managed to take down Ammis thanks to inspired Swiftblade and his cleave. Yet I then lost him to Rastus again. Phase 3 had inspired Farstrider kill Rastus with his eagle of doom. Next Oliver played Frozen in Time and failed. Then successfully casted Sorcerous Insight and played Frozen in Time again to freeze Farstrider. With nothing to do I just passed and the game ended 4/12 in a loss.
Game 2 had me win board roll-off again so boards remained the same.
This time I had to step things up. Going first, I put Eagle-Eye on guard. Rastus then failed to cast Empower. Eagle-Eye charged in, doing 2 damage via a single smash while scoring Change of Tactics. Ammis charged, knocking Eagle-Eye back with 2 fury for 2 damage. Swiftblade charged in, 3 fury meant Rastus died while Farstrider pinged Stormsire for 1 damage.
Ammis charged Farstrider but I successfully defended thanks to being inspired. I then charged Stormsire. My Flashing Handaxe rolled 2 smashes, cleaving through his target to score Victorious Duel. I then chipped down Ammis, winning priority in phase 3 to kill with a deadly eagle which had me win 14/6.
I once again won boards so results remained the same.
This time Oliver had discarded Fired Up among other cards so I knew killing Stormsire early would basically win me the game. I baited with Farstrider, taking a charge from Stormsire and then took 2 damage from Unfocused Blast. Farstrider hit back, pushing his target into another edge hex. Swiftblade charged the trapped Stormsire for 2 damage via a single fury. Farstrider then charged in with a smash and a support to kill his target, scoring Victorious Duel.
Winning priority, Swiftblade charged the wounded Rastus thanks to Eagle-Eye from phase 1. 3 fury and cleave meant Rastus died. Ammis failed to cast Empower and then was cut down by Farstrider. The rest of the game was spent cycling cards and I won 12/0.
Godsworn Hunt again! This time played by Tom from Steel City. I had played 2 of their number before so I was interested to see how this would play out. Losing boards, I placed the Cursed Oubliette while Tom set Soul Refractor diagonal.
I went first and put Farstrider on guard. Then I played Raptor Strike and Encroaching Shadow to kill Grawl and score Strong Start. Tanking charges, my Farstriders advanced. Eagle-Eye got stuck in a brawl while Farstrider charged in, wounding Threddra.
Phase 2 had me win priority. Farstrider shot his bird into Threddra. A crit meant she died while scoring me Victorious Duel. Eagle-Eye then used Ready for Action to kill Shond. Grundanna charged in but bounced off of Eagle-Eye’s double block. Eagle-Eye eventually fell to constant attacks but Farstrider avenged him. By the end of the game there were barely any Darkoath left and I won 16/6.
Winning boards this time, Tom placed Soul Refractor while I placed the Amber Catacomb wide.
Going aggressive early on, Eagle-Eye charged in but failed to hit. He was then quickly taken down by inspired Shond with Spoils of Battle and Concealed Weapon. A crit and a fury meant he was taken down, although I did get the rest of the Farstriders inspired.
Phase 2 had Farstrider shoot Shond, just needing a hit but failing to roll any fury. Shond charged in and killed him with a crit. Swiftblade didn’t last much longer, being killed by Grundann with Gloryseeker. All I could do was cycle cards and the game ended with a 5/13 loss to me.
Game 3 had me lose boards so I placed the Cursed Oubliette while Tom set the Amber Catacomb long which was what I wanted.
I baited with Eagle-Eye who took 2 damage from Jagathra. Farstrider closed phase 1 by killing Ollo with his pistol and Trap while then killing Jagathra with Raptor Strike thanks to Eagle-Eye shooting her earlier. Swiftblade used Spectral Wings to move into enemy territory and inspire.
Letting Tom go first, he drew a card while I used Farstrider to kill Shond with his Starfalcon. Tom got a sneaky kill on Eagle-Eye thanks to Hidden Paths but that was fine as it kept Farstrider safe. Going into phase 3 I won priority and went first. I could have won the game there but got carried away upgrading Farstrider, missing that he didn’t have Fighter’s Ferocity and played Distraction early. Here’s a visual example of my mind at the time:
My combo went off but left Grundann on 1 health who then killed Swiftblade. He next moved Theddra onto an objective. Glory was Tied at 14/14 but I lost on tiebreakers. What I should have done was use Farstrider to kill Threddra at the opposite end of the board then get Switfblade out of danger with Hidden Paths, winning that way. Still it was 3 great games and I learned a lot in regards to how to play against Godsworn Hunt.
Going into round 5 Tom was the only undefeated player but the TO had said at the start we’d be playing 5 rounds due to 20 players, so props to them for sticking to their words and playing true “Swiss”. As a result I was up against Jake and his Fiends. Winning boards, we both chose the Amber Catacomb and I set it in diagonal configuration.
I decided to play aggressively. After a few activations, Eagle-Eye charged in thanks to Spectral Wings but failed rolling 2 fury. Magore then smashed back for 2 damage, driving my fighter back. He then played Distraction and killed him. The Fiends then advanced. Phases 2 and 3 didn’t go any better with Farstrider quickly being overwhelmed. Swiftblade lasted longer but was eventually killed by a damage 4 Magore, ending in a 4/11 loss.
Winning board placement again, we both kept the same boards so I aligned them long.
This time I played for more defensively. Magore inspired via Furious Inspiration so then I played Distraction to push him out of charge range. As the Fiends moved up, Eagle-Eye charged backwards. Phase 2 had me repeat the same process until the Khorne warriors were firmly in my board.
Ahead in glory, I began to attack. Swiftblade with Lethal Lunge and lethal hexes made short work of Magore while Farstrider began killing the wounded Fiends with his eagle. The game ended 12/2 to me.
Game 3 began with me losing boards. I placed the Shyishian Stardial so he set the Shattered Refractor wide.
I started drawing cards while the Fiends moved up. Eagle-Eye peppered Ghartok with pistol shots after he moved up. I inspired Farstrider with Inspiration Strikes after he killed Ghartok by charging in and played Raptor Strike on Magore. I won priority in phase 2. With his Flashing Handaxe, Farstrider cleaved Magore apart to score Victorious Duel. Phase 3 was closed out by Fatstrider killing Zharkus and Eagle-Eye inspired with Gloryseeker killing Riptooth. The game ended 15/3 to me.
In the end I somehow came 2nd! After 5 rounds there were 4 players with 4 wins and a loss, there being no undefeated players due to Tom losing in round 5. The store was using number of round victories and glory differential as tie breakers only so I got that 2nd place finish. If it was normal Grand Clash rules then I believe I would have come 4th or 3rd instead. Victory went to Dan from the Ready 4 Action podcast as he had the highest glory differential out of us 4.
Overall I would highly recommend Board in Brum. It’s one of my favourite stores that I’ve had the pleasure to play in. Great players and an awesome bunch of staff. Would prefer next time if they fully followed Grand Clash format but that’s minor details. They even ordered lunch for us! Albeit we paid for it but still it was a nice touch.
I learned a lot with my Farstriders, this was perfect Grand Clash practice. I still feel the deck is fine, just have to refine my gameplay more. I should have enough time to implement what I need to do before the next bunch of tournaments. So until next time, keep those crits hot!