Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Putting Plans Into Action or Tournament Time is Nigh

With my first tournament coming up in just a few days I thought I'd do something different. Even though several of the people who are playing this weekend read my blog, I'm going to give a run down of the Strategies and Scheme Pools of the tournament and which lists I will very likely be taking. This blog is all about learning, and I think being able to look at my thoughts before going into the tournament and my thoughts afterward (next week's blog) will be beneficial. I have spent all week painting and basing models to get ready for this weekend and realized that I'm coming close to having the whole faction. Now I just have to put them all in action and see how the games play out. Keep in mind, my commitment the first half of this year is to 3 masters: Zoraida, Pandora and Lynch.

Round 1
Strategy: Interference
Scheme Pool: A Line in the Sand, Breakthrough, Bodyguard, Entourage, Plant Evidence

So first of all lets look at the Strategy. Interference says specifically: Divide the table into four Quarters. At the end of each turn after the first, a crew earns 1 VP if it controls two or more table Quarters. To control a table Quarter, the crew must have the most unengaged non-Peom models within the table Quarter. These models cannot be within 6" of the center of the table.

There are two ways I can approach this strategy. I can bring tons of guys and try to spam the table as much as possible. This could be accomplished with Terror Tots at 4SS but precludes taking some of my best available models at high point costs. The other option is to try to be as killy as possible and eliminate my opponents models as quickly as I can, giving me the advantage. This plan has its merits and flaws, being that the deck can work against you and if you don't kill a model it will be engaged and not gaining you points. also, putting models out there could end up with them being killed off and also not doing anything for you.

My first thought is that I want Waldgeists, Silurids and Zoraida here. I can use Hexed Among You to set my Geists in my opponent's side of the table and hole up certain parts of the table. They would also be in convenient spots to drop Breakthrough markers. Bringing those means a heavy swampfiend list so bad juju will be coming to the party. He's fun for this scenario as well because just when your opponent thinks they have killed a model to open up control of that side of the board, Juju comes out and smacks them down.

Schemes are a bit trickier to decide on here. Bodyguard is a good one to take with Bad Juju, as he is very hard to permanently get rid of. There's going to be a lot of movement to control board state, so ALitS, Plant Evidence and Breakthrough are all solid choices. ALitS can be very tough to keep though as its the most obvious scheme when you start dropping markers on the centerline.  Tentatively I would say Breakthrough and Bodyguard are going to be my choices here with Hexed Among You placing models in my opponent's side of the board to begin with.
Tentative List:

    Hexed Among You
    Tarot Reading
    Animal Shape

Bad Juju
Eternal Fiend

2X Waldgeist
Voodoo Doll

This list allows me to drop scheme markers, Utilize the voodoo doll and Nurse combo to lock things down. Lure models around the board and Zoraida gets some mobility with Animal Shape.

Round 2
Strategy: Headhunter
Scheme Pool: A Line in the Sand, Distract, Protect Territory, Take Prisoner, Deliver A Message.

Headhunter is a trickier strategy than it looks like at first glance. It says: Whenever a model kills or sacrifices a non-Peon model which it considers an enemy, the Acting model's controller must place a 30mm Head Marker within 3" and LoS of the killed or sacrificed model before removing it from play. Any model in base contact with a Head Marker may Make a (1) interact action with it to remove it from play. Gain a VP if you you have removed at least on Head Marker from play at the end of the turn.

My first instinct is to bring Lynch for this match up. He has the most on the table killing power of my three masters with his Darkened crew. The trick is, getting the Head Markers after the kill. I want to focus on large engagement ranges and tough models to protect the markers so that I can pick them up later. Companion becomes a fantastic ability to have in these situations but unfortunately Neverborn is light on both Companion and Accomplice. However, we do have Pandora with her Incite and Nobody Likes Me conditions. The wheels begin to turn. If I bring Candy and Pandora to Incite models that are no where near a Marker and bring Illuminated and other killy models, I can use Incite to my advantage and force my opponent to activate models when I want them to, effectively giving me control over who gets the Head Markers.  Candy also has the ability to heal things up which denies my opponent even more.

I want to kill things, so Distract isn't a good option here. Protect Territory wants me to hold models back, which means I have to split focus between killing/grabbing head markers and dropping markers/holding scheme markers. Take Prisoner is the real deal though. I simply need to be engaged with it at the end of the game, meaning I can single other models to take out and leave that one alone until the end. Deliver a Message is another fun one to take even if it requires a model's full AP for a turn. It definitely benefits from Fast and (0) movement actions. Luckily I have Teddy and Baby Kade combo to deliver a very angry bear into the enemy Master and both of them are good at murdering things. 

Tenative List:
    Fugue State

Baby Kade
2X Illuminated
    Fears Given Form
    Best Behavior

This list as all the killing power I want with some control options. (and even the control models can murder things pretty well)

Round 3
 Strategy: Collect the Bounty
Scheme Pool: A Line in the Sand,  Assassinate, Power Ritual, Breakthrough, Plant Explosives

This is the game that Lynch will shine. Collect the Bounty gives you points for each enemy non-Peon model that you kill or sacrafice during the turn. The player with the most points gets a VP.  So here I want to murder as many models as possible, which is what Lynch is quite good at doing. It should be noted that killing models too quickly can cause you to run out of points. Taking a model or two each turn while denying your opponent points is the best strategy. I'll wanna take Rising Sun upgrade as it makes the Hungering Darkness not count for points on any turn but the very last, IF it is still buried. Illuminated are good here too as they are tough to take down with Armor 1 and Regen. Stitched Together look like a good option as well as they have the potential to do lots of damage and have Hard to Kill. This is also a good time to try out Black Blood Shaman on Depleted and Iluminated though I have to be careful as a model killed by Black Blood from their own attack on my model doesn't count towards the Bounty and I lose potential VP.

Schemes for the round definitely point to Assassinate, as I am wanting to kill all the things. The rest are harder to decide on without knowing the terrain set up. Though I would probably lean toward Plant Explosives, and getting it off early as chances are models will be clumped together.

Tentative List:
Jakob Lynch
      Rising Son
       Expert Cheater
      Woke Up With a Hand
Hungering Darkness
      Fears Given Form
Hooded Rider
Black Blood Shaman
Stitched Together
The Illuminated
The Illuminated

This crew gives me lots of solid killing power and is fairly sturdy. The Hooded Rider gives me the
potential to catch up with my opponent's faster models and tow another along with him. I will have to be careful with Lynch though, as he isn't the most resilient master and Assassinate is on the table. Playing safe is the key here.

That's 3 rounds with a tentative plan to deal with each. It should be noted that any of these possible lists can change when I get to the table dependent on a couple things: terrain and my opponent's declared faction. However, I think it is beneficial to have a plan of attack going into the game as I am able to set up quickly and make informed choices based on what I already know. Granted, anyone reading who is also going to the tournament is able to see my thoughts and plans ahead of time, but this blog is for the benefit of learning and I'm willing to take that risk. After all, the bottom line of tournaments is have fun.
Next week I will be doing a breakdown of the tournament and how things went. I am arming myself with a notebook to take extensive notes. I have all my models painted and ready. My game accessories (counters, cards, and markers) are ready to go. I know my crews pretty well, and I plan on getting a good solid night's sleep before the big day.
Until next time, Keep Cheating Fate.-- John Fox.

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