Giblin: Sadly I was unable to attend any of the events this weekend. Instead I sat at home playing Ni No Kuni II, helping my girlfriend run her own business, and watching England progress one step closer to bringing it home!
Once again I’ll pass the mic over to Bryce to regale us with stories of his glorious weekend..
Hello again all,
It’s Bryce back again with a couple of tournament reports. Managed to make two this weekend, so I’m gonna do a double write up! Without any further ado, let’s jump in.
Day 1: Stormforge Hobbies
Stormforge is a nice venue in Warrington, about a half hour drive from my flat in Stockport. I’d gone out on Friday night and hadn’t got a tonne of sleep, so it was with a certain amount of grogginess I made the trip over. Thankfully it’s pretty close to where I live! Six people there for the event, 3 Reavers, 1 Guard, 1 Farstriders, and of course myself with the very finest of Axe Boiz.
Game 1 – Jay – Sepulchral Guard
No, not that Jay, thank the Old Gods of the North. This was another, very nice Jay, who said he was trying out a super defensive skellie list. I’ll be honest, this was three days, 7 rounds and like 18 actual games of Shadespire ago and I was a touch hungover, so I don’t remember this game suuuuuper well. I did dwarf things, punching his undead mans with my short mans, used Great Concussion to throw him off objectives when it was relevant, and kept punching his inspired undead mans. I know I won this round pretty comfortably in two games. Sorry for the lack of remembrance Jay, you were a lovely opponent, I’m just a trainwreck of a human being.
Game 2 – Pidge – Garrek’s Reavers
I only know this man as Pidge. He’s the chap who came second at the last Grand Clash before the relic nerf happened. He also smashed me with relics last time I was in Stormforge (I mean I say he did, it was relics, a seven year child could’ve achieved a comparable effect) [Editor’s Note: To read Giblin’s Review of that event click here]. But regardless, now relics have been nerfed, I suddenly like Pidge a lot more, and was keen for another game against him.
Reavers are a funny one. There were 3 here, and 5 at the event I went to on Sunday, which is a total of 8 out of 18 players over the two events. I remember, much like Pepperidge Farm, when Reavers were trash and no-one played them, so it’s interesting that they seem to have gotten drastically more popular in the last, like, month since I last played in events. Regardless, I played 4 of the 7 games this weekend against Reavers. Basically this paragraph is an extended way of apologising for not remembering this round super clearly either, since again, I played a tonne of Reavers this weekend and was also still basically hungover at this point.
I know I got long boards on one of the games, which is the DREAM against Reavers, since they want to fight you fast and I wanna fight them…but slowly. Scored my passives, played conservatively and took kills where I could get them. Being able to just one shot people with Grimnir uninspired and also with Tefk and Vol inspired (plus I have both Strength upgrades and Twist the Knife) coupled with the Reavers’ terrible defensive stats means that if you can control the engagement, you win this fight just about every time.
Pidge is actually a very nice person when he’s not playing relics, as it turns out, and we had two good games, both of which I won comfortably.
Game 3 – Richard – Reavers
MOAR BLOOD BOIZ. I played Richard in the final of the event at the Game Forge in Manchester last month, and he was keen for a rematch. This was the closest round of the day, and we had three very intense games. The first game was suuuuper tight, we both murdered each other pretty well. After talking for a while before the game about how I never seemed to get any use out of Hidden Paths, despite it being an amazing card, it straight up kept me in the game since everyone but Vol was dead, and all the Reavers were in my half, and I used it to bounce out of that nonsense and get Vol to literally the furthest point on the board from any Reaver model. Coupled with The Earth Shakes to push Garrek even further away, and Vol ended as the only dwarf left alive with three Reavers on the board. This game actually ended as a tie, with the same Glory, neither of us holding any objectives, and no one having been wiped out. Praise Grimnir for passive scoring keeping me in the game!
Second game I got longways boards and won pretty comfortably. Love a good longways board against aggro warbands.
Third game was super tight again, we traded kills and passives, but neither of us managed to gain a convincing lead. In the end Rich got me 8 Glory to 7, which meant the round was a straight up tie. As a result, the tournament swung on Glory difference, which I’d managed to rack up an impressive +40 or so over the three rounds, and just squeaked the trophy!
Great event and I was very lucky to take the win in the end. Richard is now determined that I’m his nemesis, which seems a touch harsh but hey I’ll take it. [Editor’s Note: Phew! My Skaven were previously. Glad he has a new target] He’s a very strong player and I look forward to playing him again. Incidentally, I don’t think I got Inspiration Strikes early AT ALL this tournament, which sort of puts some of the worry out my head that I only won my last event cause I got it early in about half my games.
If you’ve made it this far, I apologise for the lack of detail. As I’ve said, this day was a bit of a struggle for me, and remembering things isn’t my forte at the best of times. HOWEVER I promise the second day’s games are actually a bit clearer in my head, since they’re more recent. If you wanna find out how that went, read on.
Day 2: Worcester War Games
Ah, back to Worcester. This was actually the place I won my first glass trophy about two months ago, and I was keen to go back down and get reacquainted with the store. Worcester’s about a two hour drive from my flat, so I was up at 7 (ON A SUNDAY. WHERE IS THE HUMANITY?) to drive down. The M6 seems to consist of nothing but roadworks at this point, so the drive was a bit of a pain, but I digress.
Got there and we had 12 people (I think, don’t quote me) signed up for the event. 5 Reavers, 2 Sepulchral Guard, 2 Chosen Axes, 1 Farstriders, 1 normal Stormcast, and 1 Skaven unless there’s anyone I’ve forgotten, which there might definitely be. If so, sorry pals.
So we got the round 1 pairings and got going at 10am!
Round 1 – Luke – Skaven
Course there’s one Skaven player there and I get him round 1. Luke is a very good player and this round was straight up possibly the closest round of Shadespire I’ve yet played. In an echo of the previous night, the first game was a tie, with both of us on 10 Glory. However it was a tie cause I made two stupid mistakes. 1. I have a bad habit of not specifically waiting to after objective scoring in the end phase in order to stick any random upgrades on that I wanna clear out my hand. This let him score Escalation on turn 1 when I didn’t have it. This is just a dumb, dumb move that I really need to stop doing. Also 2. On turn 3, when it was close, I had last activation. Should have walked Tefk onto an objective next to Skritch in case there was a tie, instead of trying to cycle my objectives to get something useable. This would’ve also stopped him scoring Alone in the Dark, but even if he hadn’t had that card, this was the right play since I knew it was close and that would’ve helped win tiebreakers. Silly, silly dwarf boi. C-, must do better. 10-10 on Glory this round.
Second game was very close again, but things went a bit more in my favour this time. It was very tight, but I managed to get Maegrim with the Blazing Key and Formless Key onto the correct objective and eked out an 11-8 win thanks to that.
Third game was possibly the worst game of Shadespire I’d ever played. From the first two games, we knew that both our decks had a tonne of push and speed nonsense, often the first turn of the game would be the longest as we’d spend a tonne of power steps jockeying for position. This time I got nothing and Luke got to just get into the perfect position with nothing to counter from me. Drew four upgrades on opening hand, discarded, draw another four upgrades. My objectives were in the wrong order, my deck was trash, my dice were bad. Oh boy, this game was unpleasant. Worth saying Luke is a stand up guy and great opponent, but it’s hard when you know it’s going to be a tough game whatever happens, and then your deck and your dice just crap out on you. I dunno what god or possibly woodland spirit I had offended before this game, but wow did they punish me for it. He wiped me out on the second activation of turn 2, scored up to win 12-0. I checked at the end of the game and the bottom four cards in my deck were Inspiration Strikes, Quick Thinker, My Turn, and Spectral Wings. Urgh. Not like those are important cards or anything.
After 3 rounds we had a tie, but since we both wanted a clear winner and we had some time, decided to play a fourth game in order to break the tie. I got longboards on this one. Skritch came in on turn 1, and engaged both Grimnir and Vol. I Quick Thinkered and made the ballsy play to move Grimnir in to engage Skritch, hoping to increase the odds of Vol surviving and hoping he didn’t have Trap or anything to kill Grimnir. He swung on Vol and I got the single support, so no damage! Grimnir whiffed on Skritch in return. Thankfully, Grimnir was now on an objective, so Inspired at the end of the turn. Skritch swung on Vol again at the top of turn 2 and I got ANOTHER single support, blocking the hit.
Patting myself on the back for making The Best Play Ever, Grimnir killed Skritch and then I started wandering up into his half, killing the Skaven I could get near and scoring passives. This game swung just as hard as the last game, but in my favour. Ended up 12-2 on Glory.
Oooft, that was a hard round. Didn’t see Inspiration Strikes at all this round, which made it harder, but credit to Luke, that was a tough, tough round of Shadespire.
Round 2 – Dave – Reavers
Reavers again. Dave was a newer player who’d only just bought some expansions and started playing outside the core set. Still never saw Inspiration Strikes, and my Objectives came out in a pretty messed up order, but still had two very pleasant games, both of which I won comfortably but not astonishingly.
Round 3 – Panda – Stormcast Eternals
Much like Pidge, I only know this man as Panda. I assume he possibly has another name, but it has been long since lost in the mists of time. He was playing Stormcast, and mentioned that he played them different to how he normally plays the game, which is to run screaming at people and hit them with sharp and/or blunt metal implements.
Defensive Stormcast it was then. He won the roll and chose longboards, which confirmed this theory. I put all my boys as far up as possible. Actually got Inspiration Strikes in my opening hand for the first time in what feels like forever, so Grimnir got involved, got a kill at the bottom of one, and another in turn 2. He scored some strong passives, as did I, and I ended the game getting Vol and Maegrim onto the right objectives for the keys they were holding to win 17-10.
Second game I got board placement so no longboards this time! The first turn was mostly just drawing power cards. I got Inspiration Strikes early again (hallelujah!) and sent Grimnir in, who whiffed on Obryn. Sad axe boiz. Managed to use Great Concussion to score Alone in the Darkness though, letting me get some upgrades out and clear my hand.
The second turn, pfft, this turn. This was the turn of Crit Defence. Some ancient spirit of like, a giant wall had looked upon us both and said “YOU SHALL NOT DIE.” I think I rolled two crit defences in a row with Grimnir, while on the flipside, an Inspired Grimnir made 6 attacks (4 activations, My Turn, and Oathsworn) which resulted in a single dead Stormcast. One. I think this turn saw a total of 5 or 6 crit defences. It was real dumb. However, I shouldn’t really complain, Grimnir ended the turn alive, and I killed someone. Got Sevrin at the top of the next turn, and Obryn couldn’t get the win by himself. Won this one pretty comfortably for a 2-0.
Game 4 – Luke – Reavers
A different Luke to the first game, this was a nice chap running some cool angry mans. Huh never seen them before, I wonder what they do?
First game was a trainwreck, he got in amongst me, chopped me up real good, scored Annihilation and a bunch of other cards. It’s rough when Reavers don’t die when you hit them. That makes life real difficult. It went real badly you guys. Lost this one heavily.
Second game I got longboards. He ran screaming at me, I picked my kills, went in where I could, Quick Thinkered on the key attack, and managed to just about wipe him out. I think this was like 23-8 or something, got a big, big glory swing on this one.
Third game. All to play for. No longboards this time, but I did as it turned out, get a cosmic baller of an opening hand of Objectives (Change of Tactics, Precise Use of Force, Master of War), with My Turn and Quick Thinker in my ploys. He came in and whiffed on Vol with Targor, Vol took a swing and missed. Tefk went on Guard for Change of Tactics and this is where the turn got silly. Garrek charges in, hits Vol for 2 damage. I My Turn with Vol and kill Targor (Vol getting a kill, first time for everything, amiright?), scoring Precise Use of Force and drawing into Scion of Grimnir. Some things happen (I know I used The Earth Shakes to stop Saek doing anything relevant cause lord that boy is terrifying), then Tefk Charges Garrek, gets Change of Tactics, and does a damage. I draw into Victory after Victory.
Grimnir then Charges Garrek, killing him and scoring Scion of Grimnir. Drew into Superior Tactician. Scored Victory After Victory and Master of War in the end phase, putting me on a total of 8 Glory in turn 1, with 5 objectives scored and Superior Tactician in my hand. Got Escalation and Alone in the Darkness on the draw.
Luke then came in with Saek on turn 2, and I promptly Quick Thinkered Grimnir away. He got Vol and Maegrim, and I killed Saek and Karsus this turn, and amusingly we both scored Escalation and Alone in the Darkness.
Last turn I killed Arnolf and scored some passives, Defensive Strike, and I think a couple of Keys. Really though, the game swung very hard on turn 1, it would’ve been difficult for Luke to get back into it, even if that Saek Charge hadn’t gotten Quick Thinkered. I think this one ended 24-14.
I won my second tournament and second glass trophy of the weekend! Very chuffed with myself, winning two events in two days is pretty damn sweet. I had a lovely weekend, thank you to all my opponents for the games, and thanks to Stormforge and WWG for being great venues.
I’m probably done with events for a month or so now, since I have work on a couple of weekends followed by a trip to Berlin to see my girlfriend, but I’ll be back mid-August or so to hunt for more Shadeglass! Hit me up with event recommendations, I think the Game Forge in Manchester are having one mid-August, so I’ll likely be there. See ya all soon, thanks for reading!
(Axe boiz are best boiz. I honestly don’t know why people think they’re bad.)