It’s January 2020 Grand Clash time!
Welcome to my latest Grand Clash round-up article. It’s been awhile, around 2 months late. Now that’s due to my big backlog and work getting in the way. Today I’m taking about the January Warhammer World Grand Clash. While the tournament was set before the Wurmspat and Hrothgorn’s Mantrappers expansions it did have the January 2020 FAR update enforced.
Playstyle: Flex (Aggro, Control, Hold Objectives)
I’ll copy/paste the deck I had built and used from my Tournament Round-Up 38 (read here) as it’s the same deck I had been using for awhile. There’s an issue with this that I’ll get to later but if you want an in-depth explanation of the deck then read the Tournament Round-Up article.
Spooky Combat Key:
There was about 138 players so it was looking to be a super tough tournament as the largest 2 day Grand Clash ever. Yet there were a lot of things on my mind. Firstly I had only 4 days of practice over 3 weeks with my Mourflight so I was super-underprepared. Secondly I was under a lot of stress. I had given up commentating on Warhammer TV to have a chance to win a free ticket to Masters in September. Thirdly I felt like I had to prove something for some reason. I played at the Bugman’s Clash the night before and got really stressed out over minor mistakes I made. It took my friends, including THE Phil Kelly (love ya), to help calm me down.On the Saturday morning walk from the hotel to Warhammer World I remembered what all my friends kept telling me. So I said to myself I really did have nothing to prove with everything I’ve accomplished. Just play to have fun, no matter if you win or lose. Play like how you used to play during your Shadespire days. With that (after continually repeating it to myself) I felt so much better, all the stress went. If I desperately needed to go to Masters, I’d already qualified 3 times. Win or lose, I had nothing to prove and I was just going to have fun.
Basically what I’m trying to say is I let everything get to me. Stress and all that jazz. It highlighted how important friends are even if it’s just to keep you sane and down-to-earth. So I just wanted to dedicate this article to all my friends. Thank you for all your support and advice. You remind me that crits aren’t everything.
As another side-note before I begin, you can watch the Grand Clash back on repeat FOR FREE at Warhammer TV on Twitch here (starts at round 1 on day 1). It’s commentated by THE Jay Clare and Nick Bayton. Check it out for some high quality Underworlds streamed action.
First up I was against Thomas and his own Mournflight. I had never played the mirror and was worried. I know most Mournflight players were mostly hold objective while I was more aggro. If that was the case with Thomas then I had the upper hand. He won boards and placed the Soul Refractor while I placed the Shattered Tower in diagonal hex with a lethal hex between the blocked hexes so objective 5 couldn’t be pushed through the gap by Restless Prize (tech I invented on the day which you can read about more in my Lethal Hex Placement article here).
Thomas went first and began moving onto his objectives. While we were fairly evenly apart I had deployed my fighters out of 3 hex range so Thomas couldn’t inspire when engaging me. He scored some of his easy Surge objectives like One Will and Temporary Victory but didn’t have the movement to reach me while inspiring or moving through blocked hexes. I did however. I scored Fleeting Memories then played Spectral Wings to move through and wounded the Anguished One which inspired my Lady Harrow and scored me Cover Ground with Swift Capture.
Thomas began stacking upgrades on Lady Harrow so I just ignored her. In my first end phase I had scored Fired Up, Ghostly Torment (used with Lady Harrow as bait) and Great Gains. This kept me level with Thomas but I disrupted all his end phase objectives outside of Fired Up. Rounds 2 and 3 had me score the rest of my surges and kill 2 enemy Mournflight to win 18/10 while not revealing that I had Temporary Victory and Chilling Scream.
Game 2 had Thomas win board roll again. He placed the Shrine of the Silent People so I placed the Shyishian Stardial in wide configuration with a lethal hex blocking off objective 5 from Restless Prize.
The game began with us moving onto our objectives. When I was on both of mine I played Spectral Wings and moved objective 2 under Widow Caitha. Lady Harrow charged 6 hexes onto objective 2 through the blocked hex, killed Caitha with a crit and scored me Cover Ground, Inescapable Vengeance and Temporary Victory. Round 2 had me kill another Banshee which helped cemented me lead as I continued to score everything. In round 3 I had gone second. I played Chilling Scream after the last activation and safely setup my fighters while Thomas could do nothing with his power card heavy hand. This allowed me to score the Slumbering Key, Nexus of Terror, Dominion of Death then Great Gains to win 21/10.
Oli Bond of Steel City Underworlds fame was my second opponent with his Thorns of the Briar Queen. I hadn’t played into Thorns yet but I knew it would be tough. I won boards and placed the Soul Refractor. Oli set the Shyishian Stardial in diagonal configuration.
Things were looking good for me. Then I got knocked off one of my objectives and with no push cards Temporary Victory and Nexus of Terror soon bricked my hand. To make matters worse the Briar Queen teleported in and killed the Screaming Maiden. In round 2 I lost Widow Caitha and this Temprorary Victory was dead. I switched to aggro but then failed to make successful attacks. I kinda stalled Oli’s scoring but as I didn’t score anything of value myself I had lost 5/14.
Taking a few seconds to think things through we rolled for boards and I won again. This time I set the Shyishian Stardial while Oli sent the Penitent’s Throne in diagonal configuration.
After Oli pushed everyone with Varclav I used Two Steps Forward. I then moved the Screaming Maiden into 2 objectives to score me Fleeting Memories, One Will and Temporary Victory. I then sent the Aguished One charging in with Spectral Wings, moving through a Chainrasp, killing it, inspiring and scoring Cover Ground. In the end phase I scored Fired Up, Nexus of Terror and Great Gains to put me on 12 glory. The rest of the game devolved into the Anguished One inspired going on a murder spree with Tome of Offerings. Thanks to her inspired ability she killed all the Chainrasps via either rolling 2 fury or a crit. The Queen kept missing and was killed by Lady Harrow. At the end I had scored everything in my deck to win 26/7.
For the final game I won boards again. This time I placed the Living Rock and Oli set the Shrine of the Silent People in diagonal configuration.
Once again I let Oli go first and scored Fleeting Memories, One Will and Temporary Victory while he pushed up. The Queen charged in and missed so I used Restless Prize on objective 5 to push it closer then Swooping Dash and Spectral Wings to charge through a blocked hex, a Chainrasp, miss said Chainrasp but score Inescapable Vengeance and Swift Capture. Then I played Chilling Scream to safely secure Nexus of Terror along with Great Gains. Now safely in the lead while denying Oli his end phase objectives his dice then fully betrayed him. His attacks whiffed while I focused on the Chainrasps. I didn’t do as much killing as game 2 but still did enough to secure me a 21/5 win.
Daniel was my next opponent. We had played lots of time before in many different tournaments. This time he had Skaeth’s Wild Hunt. This was the matchup I was scared of most due to the fast aggro plus Daniel is a really good player. He won boards and let me place first so I chose the Soul Refractor. Daniel then placed the Wyrmgrave in wide configuration.
Going first I started by moving up. I barely managed to score Temporary Victory as Skaeth quickly killed Widow Caitha on the charge via his spear. My surges managed to keep up with Daniel as his glory from kills started to stack. Round 2 turned into a bloody scrum. Thankfully for me I cam out better from it. I had lost Lady Harrow but not after she had killed Karthaen and Sheoch. In the last round I used all my tricks so Skarth couldn’t multi-charge my last 2 Banshees. He charged the Screaming Maiden but missed while the Anguished One killed Lighaen to put me on a 19/12 win.
For game 2 I won boards. We both kinda knew it was over then as I was going to go diagonal configuration. Daniel placed the Shrine of the Silent People and I set the Molten Shardpit in diagonal configuration with a terrible “safe” route for Daniel.
Daniel started just moving up while I scored Fleeting Memories, One Will and Temporary Victory. Skaeth charged in for round 1 and missed. Round 2 I won priority, charged Lady Harrow in, rolled a crit, did 2 damage plus 1 for the lethal hex driveback then Distraction to kill him. Daniel continued to charge in but his dice failed. Now boosted with all my passive Surges scored, I butchered what Kurnothi were in range. Once again I did lose Widow Caitha but I ended up winning 22/6.
My last opponent of the day was Francois and his Stormsire’s Cursebreakers. I hadn’t played against them for a while so I was unsure how to go into this. Just had to live on my ability to adapt. I won boards so I set the Soul Refractor. Francois set the Wyrmgrave with a slight diagonal configuration.
Things were going I great for me. I had scored Fleeting Memories and One Will. I was just about to score Temporary Victory when Stormsire charged in, killed Widow Caith, destroyed objective 2 and flipped objective 4 with Abasoth’s Unmaking and Invert Terrain respectively. Huh. Round 2 had Francois take the lead as he killed Lady Harrow but Ghostly Torment and Path to Victory kept me in the game. Still I was behind in glory. I needed to win priority in round 3 to have a chance. Then I did. I quickly moved to score Swift Capture then killed Rastus who charged but failed to hit. The Screaming Maiden died so it was very close. I then played Chilling Scream after his last activation which stopped all the cards Francois was saving. In the end phase I scored the Slumbering Key, Fired Up, Nexus of Terror and Dominion of Death! Francois scored the same number of objectives AFTER me which confused him about Dominion of Death. I had done my scoring first, so at the time of scoring Dominion of Death I had scored the most objectives despite Francois then going to score the same after me. Thanks to this (and holding an objective while only Ammis was alive and not) I won 13/13 on tiebreakers.
For game 2 I won boards. I put down the Shyishian Stardial and Francois set the Katophrane’s Reliquary in a slight diagonal configuration.
First I quickly scored Fleeting Memories while Francois empowered up. Ammis, failing to Empower and not wanting to waste time as I went to score One Will, charged Lady Harrow and did 2 damage via triple crits. I then scored Temporary Victory. Stormsire got buffed up so I pushed him back so only Lady Harrow was in range. He charged and killed her due to being trapped but failed to cast Invert Terrain after. Round 2 had Widow Caitha with Great Strength charge inspired Stormsire. I rolled a crit. He did not and thus died. Ammis quickly took Stormsire’s place but she had no ranged attacks and Rastus was failing to inspure. By round 3 Rastus was dead and Ammis could do little to stop the swarming Banshees around her. She didn’t die but at the end of game 2 I had won 19/10.
Day 1 Results
With that, using all my tricks available and having tough games all day I finished 2nd out of 138 players while being unbeaten (which also put me in the top 16 for day 2) and the best performing Lady Harrow’s Mournflight player. I was surprised and so happy. All I had did was just relax and focus on each game one at a time. Importantly me and my opponents had fun too. After a serious session of a Bugman’s Quiz and sampling the bar’s mango drinks with some refined Nottingham locals, it was on to Sunday!
Prizes for 64 to 16 places. Also mango…
Once again I continued my inner reminders of just focusing on having fun and not letting the stress get to me. Then something bad happened. Remember earlier when I was talking about the deck I posted? Yeah I made a huge rookie error.
Firstly somehow Best Coast Pairings had leaked all decklists to the pubic, including the top 16. I had only found out Sunday morning but a few people from the top 16 and in general had known since Saturday but the events team were only made aware on Sunday. That sucked as it offered some players to deconstruct and plan against other top 16 players for day 2 (not saying this happened but it is a definite posibility). I know a lot of players had been perfecting their decks to play against the meta (like myself) but knowing your opponent’s deck in advance is a huge advantage. I chose not to check as it just doesn’t feel right to me doing that but if other players in the top 16 did so then that’s fine as at the end of the day they weren’t involved in making the decks public. That’s all Best Coast Pairing’s fault.
Secondly I decided to upload the decklist I had written on my phone as the Games Workshop deckbuilder app wasn’t working and I thought I’d do things old fashioned. NEVER DO THIS. Turns out I had uploaded an old version of my deck where I had put in this:
Objectives (12) (☆19)
Dominion of Death (☆☆☆)
Fleeting Memories (☆)*
Ghostly Torment (☆☆)
Inescapable Hunger (☆)*
Nexus of Terror (☆☆)
One Will (☆)*
Fired Up (☆)
Great Gains (☆☆)
Path to Victory (☆☆)
Swift Capture (☆)*
Cover Ground (☆)*
Temporary Victory (☆☆)* (R)
Call of the Grave
Two Steps Forwards
Veil of Grief
Sting of the Ur-Grub
The Slumbering Key (R)
Tome of Offerings (R)
Notice the difference? Enervating Sorrow instead of Chilling Scream. Yup. I had screwed up big time. When checking through decks on day 2 I was first up and that’s when I found out. I had been using Chilling Scream all day yesterday and could get my opponents to vouch for me but the events team made a ruiling (and rightly so) for me to not use Chilling Scream and run Enervating Sorrow instead. As I didn’t have that card on me they opened a pack for me to use then return later. That kinda screwed me. My deck was very reliant on Chilling Scream against hold objective players.
Now one thing that happened which really annoyed me was someone in the top 16 started spreading around that I had been cheating on day 1 and was caught out then started making up other rumour nonsense. I have a fair idea who it was but either way it was very disappointing to have someone from the top 16 spreading around that I was purposefully cheating. I made a big mistake, which was entirely my own fault, and was appropriately punished via a ruling made by the events team and head judge. I’m just really disappointed in the person spreading lies like that as the Warhammer Underworlds community is generally amazing and above that sort of stuff.
But yeah, I uploaded the wrong deck so had to change it to what was on the deck I uploaded. It was a huge blow as Enervating Sorrow is a dead card to my deck. I was also going on stream so I had to compose myself. I was just so angry at myself for making a rookie mistake.
For the 1st game of day 2 I was up against Guilio and his Stormsire’s Cursebreakers. I fist met him in-person at the UK Games Expo in 2018 and he’s one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. He’s part of the super strong Italian scene and travels regularly to play. It was truly great to see him improve so much and make it to the top 16. He’s also an amazing painter too.
As a bonus you can watch this game on Twitch at Warhammer TV here. Watch me play in live video action with commentary from Nick and Jay who totally supported me and didn’t place their bets on my opponent.
I won boards and set the Soul Refractor first. Guilio then placed the Cursed Oubliette in wide configuration.
Round 1 went well as I scored my Surge objectives then sent Lady Harrow deep into enemy territory. She was going to die but I meant to do it in my last activation so she would survive into round 2 and score me Fired Up with Ghostly Torment. However I forgot what round it was and did it too early…which resulted in Lady Harrow dying earlier than anticipated. Still me and Guilio ended tied on 1 glory a piece.
Round 2 had me let Guilio go first, he was in no range to harm me. He drew a card and I moved Widow Caitha onto objective 3 to score me Temporary Victory. She then took a damage from Lethal Ward. Stormsire charged her but I rolled a crit. He then killed her with Segguts Salvo and destoyed objective 5 with Abasoth’s Unmaking. I used Call of the Grave to push Stormsire onto the lethal hex so Guilio gave him Eldritch Ward. I charged for the sake of it to score Inescapable Vengeance. I charged and rolled a crit. Iara’s Instant Shield failed to go off. Then he rolled a block and a support. Stormsire took 2 damage and I drove him away. Then I played Frightful Aspect to push Stormsire back into the lethal hex and die. I then went on to score Nexus of Terror by holding only 1 objective along with Great Gains putting the score at 9/4 to me.
For round 3 I let Guilio go first again. After cycling cards the Anguished One survived Sphere of Aqshy from Ammis. I then played Soaring Spite to move 8 hexes onto objective 3 scoring me Swift Capture and Cover Ground. I then scored Dominion of Death to win 14/4.
Game 2 had Guilio win boards. He placed first, which was perfect for me, using the Wyrmgrave. I then set the Molten Shardpit in diagonal configuration with a lethal hex to make it almost impossible to move through no man’s land safely.
Going first in round 1 I scored Fleeting Memories. Then I put Lady Harrow on guard and move onto my other objective. Before my final activation I played Soaring Spite and moved Lady Harrow onto objective 4 through Stormsire to inspire and score One Will with Temporary Victory. Stormsire charged the Anguished One after playing Lethal Ward on her but failed to hit. I then used Distraction to push him into a lethal hex and score Fired Up which put scores at 4/0 to me.
Round 2 had Guilio go first. Ammis attacked Lady Harrow but rolled a fury and full support, meaning her attack missed and I scored Swift Capture. Then we spent 7 activations failing to hit each other until I used my last activation to have Lady Harrow charge Stormsire, killing him with a crit and scoring Ghostly Torment in the end phase to put me on 8/1.
Going first in round 3 I went on guard. I used Restless Prize on objective 1 which was then removed by Abasoth’s Unmaking. I then moved Lady Harrow onto objective 2 to score Swift Capture. Ammis charged in but I had Debilitating Aura so she only had 2 dice but then rolled supports. Lady Harrow then killed her with a single fury. I pushed Rastus with Distraction but he used Sidestep to push back. He then charged in his last activation but missed. I then went on to score Nexus of Terror, Great Gains and Dominion of Death to win 17/2.
My next opponent of the day was one of the many Dans from Ready 4 Action. We’d actually never played before. He was running Thorns of the Briar Queen so it was gonna be another tough one. I won boards and placed the Soul Refractor while Dan set the Shattered Tower in diagonal configuration.
The game started well as I took the early lead with my Surge objectives. Dan however quickly caught up by having better objective control. He managed to catch up in round 2 so I knew I had to be more aggressive for round 3. I went on the offensive more but my attack dice weren’t on the same page as I failed to roll any successes or was crit’d back in defence. Still I was confident I could maintain the win until we ended tied on glory. Unfortunately I was unable to shift enough Chainrasps so Dan won via tiebreakers on 14/14.Game 2 had me win boards again so I placed the Shyishian Stardial. Dan set the Wyrmgrave in diagonal configuration.
Once again I quickly took the lead via my surges but this time was better at maintaining objective superiority. The Ever-Hanged and the Briar Queen charged in but missed. I made an error in acting an activation too early not realising it wasn’t the last activation but quickly managed to compose myself and work off of it in round 2. With the Ever-Hanged dead, inspired Anguished One began killing Chainrasps in Dan’s territory. Gimping his objective holding while only losing Widow Caitha allowed me to win 20/14.For the 3rd and final game I finally lost boards. Dan placed the Living Rock so I set the Shattered Tower in wide configuration.
This time I took the lead with my Surges but it was more difficult this time as I had to rely on all my power cards to do it but I did play more aggressively too, once again sending in the Anguished One to Dans territory. However Dan caught up again in his end phase of round 2 with Supremacy and Dug In as I failed to kill and push enough Chainrasps away. Going into the 3rd round I managed to win priority yet Dan was still getting glory really quickly. However I was down to 2 fighters and Dan 3. I had the Anguished One rip apart an adjacent Chainrasp. The Briar Queen made a desperate charge but missed. I charged with Lady Harrow and missed too. Then I gave Tome of Offerings to the Anguished One and charged rolling a crit. The Chainrasp died and I got a precious 2 glory. However I was now not on objectives but Dan had 1 Chainrasp on an objective. He had charged the Queen onto an objective as she had a key but I used my Frightful Aspect (3rd push card) to knock her off. We counted glory with me scoring the Slumbering Key, Dominion of Death and Great Gains to put me on 21. Dan counted up his glory, with his key he was on 19. I had done it. Super close and tense with all my tricks spent. Dan pushed me to my limit and I only barely walked away with the win.
Next up was Sandro. This was the semi finals effectively. The one warband I didn’t want to face was Grymwatch as I had no experience against them with the Mournflight. Chilling Scream helped a lot but I didn’t have that anymore. Winning boards I placed the Soul Refractor while Sandro placed the Shattered Tower in wide configuration.
I managed to take the lead with early Surges in round 1 but came into a conundrum at the bottom of 1. I could either try to attack and kill Duke Crakkmarrow or send in another Banshee to stop them inspiring. I decided to go with the attack as I lacked Chilling Scream to counter being pushed into No Man’s land. The attacked missed and it turned out Sandro had no gambits. I had guessed wrong and my attack failed too. I managed to keep up in round 2 but now the Grymwatch could push in with their inspired stats. Round 3 had the Grymwatch slightly ahead as Sandro went first. I needed to be more aggressive so went on the attack but once again my dice failed while Sandro killed the Banshees remaining in my territory. Eventually the game ended 17/18 to Sandro. I had narrowly lost. Ironically if I went first I would have won but that’s the tricky side of Dominion of Death.Game 2 had me win boards again. I placed the Shyishian Stardial while Sandro placed the Mirror Well wide.
Going first I had only upgrades after discard 5 upgrades. I moved around the best of my ability but my objective deck bricked too. There was nothing I could do as Sandro did the “Grymwatch Special” as I call it where he basically scored 10+ glory in a round via Temporary Victory, Shifting Madness, In the Name of the King, Pervasive Delusions, Supremacy, Opening Gambit and Combination Strike for 12 glory while I scored Fired Up. Round 2 didn’t go much better for me. I failed some key attacks but scored a few Surge objectives to put it on 3/15. It was pretty much over now unfortunately. I discarded Dominion of Death and went at it. My deck then got into gear. I scored all my remaining Surges along with most of my end phase objectives that hadn’t been discarded and killed a Ghoul too. Sandro scored some more glory and the game ended in a 15/20 loss for me. Even my insane glory gains (12 glory in 1 turn from both of us is mad haha) wasn’t enough to pull it through for me.
After all was said I done I finished in the top 4! Originally I thought I had come 4th but BCP posted the final results later and I had finished 3rd overall. Either way I was ecstatic with my result. Yeah I didn’t win but I’d managed to come incredibly far with only 4 days of practice with a new warband and, most importantly, I had so much fun! I didn’t have a bad game all weekend. I made a lot of errors and didn’t win but I can use all that to help identify what I did wrong and build on it for next time. I can’t stress how much fun I had partly because I was playing how like I used to but also due to all my amazing opponents and friends. Also congratulations to Sandro for winning overall!
As for the deck it worked perfectly. The only things I would change are to get more practice in AND to upload the correct decklist. I’ve updated the deck now due to better new cards so I may do an article on new version at a later date. I have been working on the practice aspect however…
Another thing was that I maintained my best in faction for Lady Harrow’s Mournflight on both days! Yeah I didn’t win but I’m just so happy to achieve what I did. Sure it’s not technically my best performance but it’s my best for the largest tournament I’ve ever played in. Maybe I’m not just the master of small Grand Clashes anymore haha. But yeah it was a great experience overall and really highlighted how great the Warhammer Underworlds community is and I highly recommend going to a Warhammer World Grand Clash. I hoped you enjoyed my journey with my Flex-Flight. See you soon for some more crit action!