Event Review: The Forge Manchester

A bit of a different take on an Event Review this time! Rather than discuss my games and deck list, I’ll be writing about my experience as a Tournament Organiser (TO), some abstractions about Tournament Play, and the changes the BAR List has brought to decks & playstyle.

Game 1 – The Tournament is underway

No Dice!

I didn’t get to roll any dice or push my toys around the board today as we had 15 attendees turn up including myself, and whilst I really wanted to play using my Sepulchral Guard it didn’t seem fair to invite a bunch of people to play the game, and then cause them to sit out for a BYE. So I stepped aside and was a dedicated TO – able to announce remaining round times, take photos, answer questions, hand out round scorecards etc. 

I’ve always enjoyed running events even for other systems. There is something satisfying about seeing others have fun, as well as watching how others play the various warbands.

On the whole the event ran smoothly – no results were inputted wrong, and my excel spreadsheet didn’t break midway through the tournament! BOOM!

Cursebreakers won the event, with Nighthaunt taking silver, Gobbos got 3rd, and Sepulchral Guard took 4th. It’s very comforting to see three high model count warbands in the top 4 spots. The winds of change are blowing…

A pair of Steel City Underworld authors face off on table one…

Tournament Play

I made the choice to run the round timer at one hour and fifteen minutes for the best of three format, giving twenty five minutes per game. Something I noticed as results were handed in at the event was that most players were only getting two full games in during that time. 

A second interesting point was that there were BARELY any 2-0 wins at the event, the majority were 2-1 OR 1-1 with Glory Scored winning them the round. This is a HUGE change compared to the stompings of yester-meta, where you could confidently beat most factions 2-0 bar your ‘bogey’ faction. The BAR List definitely feels like it has closed the power gap between all the factions; the bottom has been dragged up & the top has been brought down significantly. 

The Nightvault Core Box is in full use on the top table of the final round!

Meta Changes

The game has lost it’s lethality. Which is fine. I didn’t notice any warband wiped out in Turn 2, and very few assassination attempts in Turn One. With Twist/Trap/Pit Trap on the restricted list it’s VERY difficult to one-shot a leader in Turn One.

What this has lead to though is that games are taking longer because there is far more to consider in Turn Three. More models alive = more models on objective hexes with keys & more enemy models in your deployment zone. There is a big knock on effect to the glory scored. Some take away points from decks I saw today:

  • Extreme Flank is your new auto-include Objective.
  • Ready for Action remains a superior Gambit to most others.
  • Change of Tactics isn’t going anywhere.
  • Do you have an Action on your Fighter Card? Take Keep Them Guessing.
  • Strong Start is the new Advancing Strike whilst Martyred is the new Defensive Strike. 
  • Warbands with Wizards will have Abasoth’s Withering, Gobbos will also have Jealous Hex.
  • The Faneway Crystal is super powerful, as is Potion of Rage.
  • Gloryseeker surpasses Incredible Strength in utility.
  • Mutating Maul is your new Weapon Upgrade if you even bother.
  • Sudden Growth & Deathly Fortitude have grown in popularity in lieu of Soultrap & Tethered Spirit
  • Shardgale, Encroaching Shadow & Lethal Ward have replaced Twist/Trap/Pit Trap if you want to go full aggro.

How are you finding your games with the new Banned & Restricted list? Let me know in the comments below!

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