My schemes are paying dividends, whilst those of my Masters are thwarted, and yet they do not see my hand in this, but that of a cruel Fate. It will not be long before I cease to kneel and cower before them, instead to rise proudly, and take their power for my own.
Well I survived Elementary. I didn't win any games, again, but I did feel that I put in a valiant effort.
I decided that unless anything unusual cropped up to change my mind, that I was going to stick with Seamus as my master. Nothing unusual cropped up, so Seamus it was.
I don't have any photos from the event, and I'm not sure anyone else got any, so here's a picture of my scoresheet instead.
I enjoyed each game, and didn't feel that I played too badly, though i know I still need some tuning up that only table time will sort.
I faced Aiden Kirk for this game, and he used Shenlong. Obviously I've had very little experience with facing different masters, but it was nice to face this one. I'd seen Aiden's work on Twitter and loved his crew.
I had mistakenly announced Assasinate, and also Breakthough. I was happy with a 5-8 loss as it at least meant I had been paying attention to the schemes and strategies. It was an enjoyable game and I learned some lessons. Aiden pointed out that if you don't know the opposing master, maybe Assasinate isn't a scheme to choose. To be fair, I never really got anywhere near Shenlong, though it was a fair point, and one I took in to account in my next game.
During lunch I reflected on my options and crew choice, and having noticed corner deployment with Power Ritual, I spoke at length with Ben about the best way to maximise points for this combo.
Only to be drawn against him! So, having travelled from East Yorkshire to Stockport, we got drawn against our own regular opponent. That's ok though, we're each other's regular opponent for a reason beyond geography, and we knew we'd be in for a good game, and at least it would likely result in one of us getting a win.
It was a hard fought engagement. Ben went for a reasonably bitty crew with the hope of summoning more to lay schemes. Knowing that he'd likely do this for Turf War, and that it would be much harder for me to summon, I went for an objective grabber force with a Necropunk and two Canine Remains amongst two Belles and Sybelle. Rather than get side tracked by Ben's crew, I went straight for laying down as many scheme markers as I could. Ultimately this paid off, as when final turn was called, we were drawing 7-7, with it looking as though both would then score a further point for Turf War.
But then, Ben pulled a blinder by using his own Belle to Lure mine twice away from the six inch scoring bubble.
A bloody good game. Now, knowing each other so well, Ben and I are well passed hand shaking, but I felt that game was worthy of one, so I forced him in to it.
For the final game of the tournament I faced Rob Barmforth (I think I got the name correct, apologies if not) who used his Leviticus crew. I've heard a lot about Levi, and I was a little apprehensive, though now I've played him I'm less nervous about facing him again. The strategy was Stake a Claim, and for schemes I chose Plant Explosives and Distract.
I made a big mistake in this game. I'd misread the details for Stake a Claim, so had thought that I just needed to lay scheme markers, then choose which scheme or strategy they counted at the end of the game. As such, after Rob announced his first set of points, I realised my mistake, but knew I'd not be able to keep up on the strategy. I managed to get a point from Distract reasonably early on, but as I began to run out of models, I wasn't going to be able to put that on enough models that he couldn't remove enough to stop me scoring. Towards the end of the third turn I managed to spot a chance to get a couple of cheeky points from Plant Explosives as he had a couple of models near enough to one of my scheme markers, and I just had to hope that he would keep them reasonably near, which luckily he did.
As for the rest of the game, which as it turned out finished at the end of turn three, I was struggling to figure out how I'd be able to win back the deficit against a crew I knew nothing about. I'd again taken more of a scheme runner crew, so didn't really have much hitting power to take out his key models. Not that I think that would have mattered; he had a much better handle on his plan than I had on mine. In the end, I was happy to end the game 3-6 down, as it could have been much worse. Without the Plant Explosives points, I'd have only managed a single point, and had the game gone on a turn longer, Rob would have scored more points for Bodyguard.
So in the end, I managed three losses, which is as I expected, but I finished one place higher than last time at Cojo Dojo and managed to score fifteen VPs over the three games, which was seven more, and my differential was only -7 rather than -13, so six better there. So all in all I was happy with the result.
So what's next? Well, I've got Vappafaux at the beginning of February. That's actually only a 40SS event, so I'm already feeling the pinch with crew selection. To try and streamline my playing, I've started building 'core crews'. The idea here is to have a list with a few key models so that once I get to the table, it speeds up my crew selection. At 50SS, it leaves a bit of room for tailoring to the Strategy and Schemes, but at 40SS, that accounts for all but a model or two meaning that I have to either strip back those key models, have less upgrades, or just build a set crew. That last option may be something I try a few times before Vappafaux and see if it works.
As few which Master to go for, I've used Seamus exclusively for both Tournaments, and now want a change.
I feel I'm good enough with Seamus to keep him as a backup, and I also feel I've got the handle of McMourning, and just need to fine tune him. However, having ordered Kirai at GenCon, and Tara for Black Friday, I'm going to give the girls a bit of table time. Both seem to play very differently, but I'm not worried too much by that. I still aren't planning to challenge for even mid table by the end of 2015, and since these tournaments represent my best chance to get games against a wider spectrum of players than the handful of sporadic games I get at home, I just plan to have a bit of fun.