Following on from my In the Dojo article I was feeling a bit nervy heading into the Grand Clash. My Cursebreakers had spent the week being beaten by everything Bryce and I threw at it. Time has since passed since the event and details have become blurry. There are some definite stand out moments – specifically in my game versus Rafa in the final round.
Anyway, I travelled to the Richo Arena on my lonesome and leaving the house at 5.30AM after a night of drinking prior. Fortunately I was able to travel via montage, and was able to get there easily. I.e. It was a long boring journey with many changeovers that drained my will to live.
By the time I’d finally arrived there was only 30mins or so to prepare. I’d packed my bags the night before with a shot at the Grandest Glass in mind this includes:
- 3x 500ml bottles of water
- Nurofen Express (fast acting headache tablets)
- 2x Banana
- Hand Sanitiser
4 Rounds in a single day can take it’s toll on you mentally and physically. Staying hydrated should be a huge party of your daily routine anyway but at a convention it’s very easy to succumb to beer, soft drinks, energy drinks etc these make you groggy and can cause sugar spikes and crashes.
I was already nursing a hangover, so the Nurofen was keeping me ticking but I was being sparing with them as I’d likely need them going into the final round. The bananas are a great source of energy and helps stave off the desire to stuff your face with chocolate/crisps/vendor trash.
Nerds aren’t the cleanest of people. It’s a sad fact. I took the deodorant because I’m a decent human – conventions can be sweaty smelly places and keeping yourself fresh is a common courtesy to other attendees. Finally, I’ve been to enough cons in my time to know that I’ll end up shaking many hands or handling doors that might not be the cleanest. The number of attendees who don’t wash their hands after using the rest room is disgustingly high. The hand sanitiser is to keep the con crud at bay as best I can try!
If you’re going to a large convention or gaming event be considerate of your personal hygiene, and if you’re trying to win stick to water over beer. Anyway onto the games
Game 1 vs Ian (Magores)
I managed to win this set of games 2-0. Having played Aggro warbands for an extremely long time, and using Magores myself recently I knew how vital Magore tends to be as he can score What Armour & Show of Strength, and tends to have some Character Locked Upgrades too. Assassinating him tends to leave the deck in an awkward situation where you can draw into dead objective and power cards.
The cards and dice allowed me to do this in both my games…in Turn One. Through a combination of Attack Actions, Shardgale, Sphere of Aqshy, Cry of Thunder, and Abasoth’s Withering I was able to kill Magore before he got going. The games ended 15-3 and 18-2 respectively.
I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better start. No losses and +28 Glory Difference would put me near the top of the table and away from the sharks as previous Grand Clahses had ranked top of bracket with bottom of bracket. We’re not quite sure it was ran that way this time as in round 4 Aman (solely undefeated) was playing on Table 3 whilst both myself and Rafa on Table 2 had dropped a game :shrug:
Game 2 vs Miles (Eyes of the Nine)
Game 2 saw me against Miles. You may remember Miles from a previous blog where he piloted his Eyes of the Nine amazingly versus Michael Carlin. Well, seeing him over the table from me was a bit terrifying as I was hoping for a nice easy win. This would not be one.
Game 1 went about as well as I could have hoped and managed to take it quite comfortably. Game 2 was not. Vortemis got jacked up on upgrades and spells and was an absolute nightmare to deal with. I thought Stormsire had finally got him when I rolled a Crit and a Hit for Fulmination to finish off the Tzeetchian pest, but then Miles rolled Crit, Crit, Dodge to give Cursebreaker the middle finger and then proceeded to kill Rastus with an Unfocused Blast and take down Stormsire with a charge!
Our final game was an incredibly tight affair. I held a hand of upgrades and distraction as I had Alone in the Darkness and wanted to grab as much passive glory as possible before committing. I probably should have ditched them as I ended up bricking my hand a little but the game ended 15-15 after a flurry of action, and Rastus was sat on an objective to give me the win.
Game 3 vs Will (Mollog)
After dropping a game in the previous round I knew I’d need a big Glory Difference to put me back in the running for the final. I was already on +39 so was feeling decent and I was aiming to grab maybe +15 this round to push me to +54 before the final round which was likely to be against tougher opponents with less chance to get big wins. So when my opponent put Mollog down on the table I cried internally.
To give a brief rundown of the games they both went like this:
- Mollog kills Ammis and Rastus
- Stormsire uses Hidden Paths to reach Critters
- Stormsire kills Critters
- Mollog arrives to kill Stormsire
- Stormsire uses Illusory Fighter to disappear
- Mollog stomps his feet in anger
I managed to take the round 2-0 and with a whopping +16 Glory Difference! I’d managed to exceed my goal for the round and put myself in the best position possible to make the top tables and maybe the final!
Game 4 vs Rafa (Cursebreakers)
Much time has passed since this game. I’m currently writing this over a week from the event and some details may be a bit mixed – work and life have gotten in the way of the hobby.
So, as I sat down to wait for my final opponent of the day I was positioned on table two. To my left the top table was Mollog vs Thorns of the Briar queen, piloted by a Canadian and a Filipino, whilst to my right on table three was Magore vs Thundrik, piloted by an American and a Brit. In front of me sat down Rafa, a Spaniard. I consider it a huge success of Warhammer Fest and Warhammer Underworlds to draw in so many nationalities and to have them all compete at the highest calibre was fantastic.
Rafa pulled out his Cursebreakers, and I wasn’t feeling overly confident. In Bryce and my practice matches of Lunchspire the mirror match was very coin flippy and basically whoever assassinated Stormsire first was likely to win.
Game One saw Rafa win the board roll and I placed down the Arcane Nexus as it allows me to deploy deeply and force Rafa to run through Lethal Hexes, whilst Rafa did the same. An unfortunate Turn One bid to assassinate my Stormsire with Ammis left Rafa vulnerable to my Stormsire to go and kill his leader. Which happened. I was able to win this game 18-12, which is truly a testament to how good Cursebreakers are at scoring glory even without Stormsire!
Game Two – This one is reasonably clear in my head!
This time round I won board roll. Rafa chose the Arcane Nexus attempting to mimic the set up previously, whilst I chose the Amber Forbidden Chambers Board and at the maximum diagonal. Turn One saw us jockey for position with Rafa exclaiming that he cannot do anything as the Blocked Hex was making it difficult for Stormsire to target anyone without over committing and standing next to the Lethal Hexes was not an inviting offer.
In Turn One I was able to use Spoils of Battle to equip Stormsire with Tempest Might and Inspire thanks to Abasoth’s Unmaking. I also had Sphere of Aqshy and Illusory Fighter in hand. This was a god hand and I felt very confident that I’d be able to assassinate Rafa’s Stormsire before he Inspired. At the end of Turn One I charged with my Stormsire and failed to cast Fulmination. Damn. I cast Sphere of Aqshy on Stormsire to set up the kill next turn and used Illusory Fighter to return to my safe spot away from Rafa’s fighters.
Turn Two. I won initiative and passed priority to Rafa as I wanted the final activation as he would have to be the aggressor in this instance, as he knew I had more passive glory capability. I had drawn another God Hand. I had Ready for Action, Potion of Rage, Well of Power, Abasoth’s Withering and Great Fortitude. I had no unspent glory so would need a kill to trigger Ready for Action.
The cards and how Rafa’s Ammis & Cursbreaker resulted on three wounds a piece may have been different but this is simple enough to explain by just using cards I had at my disposal.
Rafa knew he had to make a decision and charged with Ammis dealing three damage to my Ammis, but leaving his fighter in range of my Stormsire’s Fulmination. I cast Abasoth’s Withering. I attacked with Fulmination, and didn’t roll a hit. Rafa used Hidden Paths to put Rastus next to my Ammis and killed her. I rolled for Fulmination, and didn’t roll a hit. Rafa drew a card. I rolled for Fulmination, and Rafa blocked it. Rafa’s Stormsire moved up attack my Rastus and succeeded and Inspired. I charged Rafa’s Ammis with my Fulmination in range of his Stormsire for a kill, Ready for Action & Potion of Rage attack versus his Stormsire to try and kill two in one activation. I rolled my Fulmination, can you guess what happened?
Turn Three saw Rafa’s Ammis get upgraded with Great Strength and charge into my Stormsire – killing him. From there on out it was a case of his Stormsire mopping up. The game ended 3-15 to Rafa and kudos to him for making the best of a bad situation. Were I to play this game again with the same cards in hand I would do everything exactly the same again. I was frustrated that I had done everything correctly, forced Rafa to make difficult decisions whilst maintaining control over the game and still ended up losing.
This was the one for all the marbles. The top table were only on their second game and wouldn’t find time for a third and were getting heated as it was EXTREMELY close on Glory scored and Glory Diff.
I lost board rolls and decided to go a bit left field as Rafa now knew about the Amber Forbidden Board set up. I elected to go for the Penitent’s Throne whilst Rafa played what he knew and went with the Arcane Nexus again. I made some basic errors in this game and pretty much cost myself the win by standing Stormsire next to Ammis at the end of turn one stopping myself scoring Alone in the Darkness and delaying my glory generation. The game ended up 10-12 to Rafa, and had I not made that mistake the ‘butterfly effect’ of my card draw would have been so much smoother and inline with how I was playing. Que sera.
A frustrating end to the event, being undone by dice and then by my own mistake. Fortunately Rafa went on to win the final (sorry Aman) so I get to smugly say “I only lost to the winner of the event”. I finished in the top 8 and grabbed some more acrylic glory tokens, and I think I was 8th but there is honestly no public display of results…which kinda sucks.
The remaining swag I passed out amongst attendees who I saw collecting their stuff last or not at all. As I don’t need any more paraphernalia that isn’t acrylic and it’s nice to share the wealth. Speaking of wealth…Profiteers are looking promising eh? There is another Grand Clash on 31st May – so I’ll probably be back in the dojo and then out for another shot at glass.