Skritch Spiteclaw is on a quest for Shadeglass. He’ll be leading his clan rats to a handful of future events until he earns himself pride of place on the winner’s shelf in the gaming room. Skritch came close to realising his goals at the Wargames Emporium but alas, it was not his day.
“Shadespire makes strange bedfellows Skritch, my Brethren have all but lost their relics. We put our trust in you to bring back the Shadeglass today”
“Yes-yes, we shall sneak-stab the man-things and make them squirm-bleed. Glory-treasure will belong to strong-skaven in Sheffield”
As I arrived at the venue I was informed that it would be a best-of-one affair. Historically this isn’t a great outcome for aggro decks as dice variance can spoil the run to victory. However, I was committed and would not let it sway me.
Game 1 vs Skeletons
As I sat down my opponent began unpacking his skeletons. The Skeleton-Skaven matchup is a game I’m very well versed in as my regular opponent, Harry Moore, is a Skeleton player. He’s placed 8th & 10th with them at two grand clashes, earning him Best in Faction. Our games are generally pretty close but it definitely gives me an edge going into these match ups as I’ve played against one of the best skeleton players in the UK.
We deployed our boards square on and by the end of Turn 1 I had scored a Precise use of Force kill against the Prince with Inspired Skritch, Supremacy & Master of War.
At the start of Turn 2 the Champion charged into Skritch dealing 2 DMG. Skritch returned the favour by taking him out triggering Skritch is the Greatest, yes-yes and unlocking a bunch of upgrades that would allow me to score Escalation. At the end of my opponent’s next activation I used illusory fighter to land Skritch close enough to the Harvester to buy an attack on him and take him out. Seeing what I had in my hand (Victorious Duel & Advancing Strike) I equipped Skritch with Great Strength, and then played Time Trap to make a charge action against the warden – sending him back to the grave. BIG GLORY SCORE!
Turn 3 saw Sneaky-stab stab applied to Skritch as he floated through the Skeleton backfield killing off the remaining petitioners and Inspired Champion. By the end of the game I had scored 11 of 12 objectives and landed myself a whopping 28-0 scoreline!
Game 2 vs Hybrid Stormcast
As I sat down for Game 2 I recognised my opponent from the WHW Grand Clash, we hadn’t played but it was the first time I’d seen defensive stormcast. So, when he placed Stormcast on the table I was expecting to dig in for the long fight. When boards were laid out Ian chose to deploy the board longways…suspicion confirmed. In my mind this is essentially Scaredy Kat without the Relics, it works well but it affords a turn 3 in which you opponent can act.
In Turn 1 we drew power cards. I was hunting for my movement shenanigans whilst Ian was digging for Push cards. I struck gold and was able to get Skritch into range and kill Obryn the Bold with a well-placed Trap.
At the start of Turn 2 Skritch died for his troubles after Sevrin managed to get a hold of him and Twist the Knife to finish the lad off. Whilst not ideal this wasn’t terribly overbearing for me as I was able to play my passive objectives and dump a bunch of upgrades out of my hand. As I hadn’t dealt any damage this turn I threw Lurking Skaven into Brightshield – netting me 1DMG and the denial of Bloodless, but also put her in range of a Great Strength & Twist the Knife next turn.
Turn 3 saw me make a charge with Lurking Skaven to enact the plan but Brightshield ran away with Quick Thinker. I ended up throwing the rest of my Skaven onto objectives to try and score supremacy. Alas my opponent had too many push cards and two of them were displaced.
When we totted the scores up at the end it was a 9-9 draw, however Hungering Skaven was still sat on his objective so won me the game via tiebreak! Phew!
Game 3 vs Magore’s Fiends
Wow. This had to be my favourite game of the weekend. Tom was a delightful chap and a great sport. It was my first time playing into Magore’s Fiends, and that doggo is such a good boy!!
Turn 1 was a typical stand-off between two aggro warbands. Tom had the upperhand as he had the final activation so could come in at his leisure. He ended up sending the doggo into my only model in range of his warband – Lurking Skaven. However, luck was not on his side as Riptooth was able to rip the Lurking Skaven a new food-hole. I counter charged with Krrk who had Trap and Twist the Knife in hand to put the doggo down. He rolled a crit which was deftly matched by Tom. Gartok counter-charged Krrk and was able to finish him off with a Shardgale.
After the Shardgale Turn 2 opened up a lot of opportunity for Skritch as he no longer required any buffs to kill off anyone. Upon winning the turn roll I elected to charge Skritch into range of Ghartok and the Doggo to which Tom used Quick Thinker to move the dog into base-to-base with Skritch, obviously looking for the fabled dog-leader duel. After the charge was made I declared it against the dog looking to use 2DMG & Trap to take him out then Time Trap to Inspire and take out Gartok. However, the damn dog survived! I still used Time Trap to take out Gartok and equipped Acrobatic to Skritch to make him an untempting target. Tom decided against the leader kill with dog and charged Riptooth off to kill Hungering Skaven instead. This was a misplay by Tom as he forgot about the Time Trap Pass mechanic and could have had a risk free attack on Skritch.
Magore moves up after my Pass Action and is charged by Festering Skaven with Great Strength, I STILL had Twist the Knife so a successful attack here would kill Magore! CRIT DEFENSE! (Stop it Tom!) Magore then slaps Festering Skaven into the ground.
Turn 3. It’s getting tense, our glory scores are very similar thanks to my passive objectives coming into play. To start Turn 3 off I bring back Festering Skaven who has Great Strength and Twist the Kinfe in hand. By this point Tom had a small lead and made the safe play of denying me Glory by bringing Riptooth out of range of Skritch and Fester. I charged Fester into Magore who managed to land his kill! However, Tom had upgraded Magore to make his death-attack and killed Festering Skaven.
We missed the timing step on this as Tom remembered later in the turn, I didn’t want him to have it as the game was so close and the glass trophy was on the line, but there was also nothing I could have done in-game to prevent this bar my opponent forgetting the rule. As a rule of thumb, I tend to allow take-backs if there was nothing I could have done to prevent it. I could see Tom was in a similar dilemma; he didn’t want to ask for a take-back, but he’d upgraded Magore for this very reason and it could make the difference. We opted to dice it – hammer & crit and he could make the attack…I rolled a Crit!
Zharkus moved up to get into my half of the board to potentially prevent Denial, whilst I used Great Concussion knock him back, and to push Skritch up against the wall to make use of Hidden Paths to spring up next to Zharkus. I then deliberated. I knew I had a score-immediately objective that I could score off of the Skritch kill but didn’t want to give Tom the opportunity to push Skritch away. As I was behind on glory I decided I needed to do it. Fortunately, Tom didn’t have any Push cards left, and I was able to kill Zharkus. After we totalled up our Glory scores I ended on 11 whilst Tom also ended on 11 – it was a draw. Neither of us held objectives, and if the dice had fallen differently or I’d pushed the missed action window then I’d have won the game. Bitter sweet but I was looking forward to playing Tom again in the next round as we were the only undefeated players with 2 wins and a tie out of three games. Everyone else was on 2 wins and a loss or less.
Game 4 vs NOT TOM
Eh? This draw didn’t make sense to me. We had the highest TP scores and the highest glory scores but I was paired down against Ian, the Defensive Stormcast player from before, whilst a Farstrider player was paired up against Tom. I WANTED THAT REMATCH DAMN IT! It also meant that winning the event was largely out of my control, and I think the organiser made a mistake on the pairings here as the final round of an event should always stand even if there are rematches as it determines final placings.
There isn’t a great deal to say in this game sadly, my deck and dice poo-pooed me. I got gunked up with Upgrades in the initial draw and then drew into them again with the mulligan. My Objective deck was all out of whack with superior tactician, supremacy and escalation all coming out after the initial mulligan to dig for the passive objectives.
Dice were worse and Ian took full advantage of the trouble I was in to win 11-0.
Over on the other table Tom also lost his game, which meant that the overall winner would be someone with 3 wins. It was Ian, congratulations! Farstriders came second and I dropped to 4th whilst Tom took 5th.
It was a bit of a salty ending personally as I feel I played well enough to deserve a proper shot at the glass but wasn’t afforded it due to the best of one nature vs both Tom & Ian, and the final round pairings meant that I could still win the final game and second. It should have been Tom and I on top table in the final but there is only so much you as a player can do. C’est la vie.