Thursday, May 24, 2007

Why I dislike tournament formats...

Yesterday I played 2 games against Zugbart and I have to say, once again, these were very fun games. We each walked away with a win. Before the battle highlights though, I want to comment about one specific reason these games are fun, and tournaments are not...

I recently had a number of discussions/forum readings where it became clear that if you aren't using your feat on round 2, you're wasting your feat. Now, in a 2-3 round game, that's definately true. Here's my experience of most 3 round tournament games: Round 1, everyone runs. Round 2, first waves crash against each other. Round 3, second waves crash and caster kill attempts are made. Sometimes the caster kill attempts even happen on round 2. Personally, I think this sort of battle is boring. The beauty of Warmachine is that it's like a game of chess. Setting up a combination, working out the timing, moving around tactically... these are the features that really showcase the game I feel. The games I play with Zugbart are always open-ended and as a result allow us to really bring out the deeper strategy of the game. It's not a strategy of ramming troops down your opponent's throat. It's a strategy of overloading your opponent's brain as they try to work out the combinations.
I love that aspect. Ok, rant over, on to the highlights...

Game 1: Madrak vs Amon
This was a close one. It literally game down to a tough roll, which Amon failed. We did the old NoQuarterChallenge after the failed tough roll to see how the rest of the game would play out and the odds seemed against Madrak, but I have to give hats off to Zugbart for a well timed and placed ricochet axe throw early in the game that really weakened Amon. Star performers this game were definately the Dervish, with his very cool Riposte attack, and the Daughters, who not only killed all the Krielstone scribes and almost the bearer too (stupid tough rolls!), but also after being reduced to half squad, nearly took down an Impaler by themselves! I'm very much in love with these little ladies. In the end though, Madrak's bouncing axe overloaded my planning brain (and Amon's toughness), and won the day for the Trolls.

Game 2: Doomshaper vs Amon
Another close game, I opted for a more troop-oriented list, bringing in Knights and Zealots. I also fielded Herne and Jonne for this list (since I'd painted them recently), and they actually got to do something this game. In the previous game they became champ food, but in the end it was Jonne that got the final killing shot on Doomshaper. Again though, Zugbart pulled a maneuver I wasn't prepared for and trampled a bunch of knights exemplar. It's important to note that when trampling zealots under Greater Destiny, they don't get free strikes if you hit them. The Blitzer under fortune is a pretty crazy trampling machine. Fortunately my Seneschal came to the rescue and a concentrated effort took down the blitzer. I'm also finding that trying to kill the Krielstones early on is an important tactic against the "Troll Brick". Star performers were, well, I hate to say it but my opponent's Blitzer and Mauler really stole the show in this game, despite him not winning. The Blitzer's trample was stunning, and the Mauler nearly leveled the Guardian in one round (sheesh!). On my side, the Seneschal was definately key in handling the Blitzer, and Amon did a stellar job of not getting killed for once. Sitting on 6 focus really makes Amon hard to hurt.

Whew, big evening for Warmachine. I'm looking forward to the next battle already. I've learned alot about Amon having played him so many battles in a row now. I'll write up my thoughts on Amon tactics in another post later. In the mean time, hats off to Zugbart again for 2 well fought battles!

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