Warzone Houston After Action Review.
Now that Warzone has wrapped up lets take a look at some of the thoughts I have. “long read”
My placing, score, overall opinion, thank yous.
I ended up 4th out of 42. Cannot complain about my placing especially after the fact I lost 2 out of 5 games. My paint score helped lift me up. The other key factor in scoring so high while still losing 20 battle points because of loses was the fact that I completed every secondary and tertiary objective. I made it a priority to get those points every game. It looks like Marcus Miller was the only other person to completed all the secondary and Tertiary objectives besides me. I can say going into the final round it looked like I was the highest ranked 2 loss player. I feel I played some good games and made plenty of good decisions. Both during the battle and picking the tertiary. I scored lower than I would have liked on sports. I try not to be a bad opponent, I just hope it was that my opponents had more fun against other players and it was not that I was an ass or something. I will admit I did have to play very strategically at the end of a few of the games. To make some of those objectives.
I left with a positive opinion overall. I was very mentally fatigued by the end of the event. The only way I can describe the way I felt to someone who has never played in a GT is; imagine taking a very important hard standardized test for a total of 13 hours over 2 days while standing.That is the way my mind felt after the event.
The things I liked best was meeting all the gamers from other cities here in Texas. I liked seeing other peoples armies and I also learned a lot about army construction. All in all I will definitely be at Warzone next year.
I would like to thank all the people that made it happen, Kyle Valdez, Christopher A Wroblewski, and other people I do not know about. You guys did a fine job I cant even imagine the amount of work that went into putting this all together.
What I learned Friday.
After driving down and getting checked into the Wyndham, T.J. and me caught a bite to eat with one of the FNP Pro Team. We had an early supper with the thought of getting back and getting a practice game in. I was able to get a game with Bryan Lofton. He is a newish AOS player and was running a Blades of Khorne list. His list was all in all nicely balanced. It only had one Bloodthrister, 6 skullcrshers and a smattering of warriors and Bloodreavers. Even though Bryan was a newer player and still learning many of the rules for his army, he smashed my face. I made a few little mistakes, but all in all Blades are just very strong. the worst part about the whole deal is their anti-magic. My list is very magic heavy. I dont really need it to kill a bunch of stuff I just need it to keep everything alive long enough to wear the enemy down, but he just tore through me. It taught me a valuable lesson: BladesOK are strong and they can shut the best caster in the game down without much problem. So for the next two days I worried about getting matched up against one of the 4 Khorne players.
My tactics with my list
My general tactic when running my list to to:
- Keep Nagash alive
- Keep Necromancer alive
- Get into good positions to sit on objectives -gave sites need good placement-
- Grind the enemy down. “I heal better than most and my units negate rend.” I can outlast most armies use it to win.
- Use Nagash to debuff enemy units – heal my units – and keep the machine running – use the threat of Hand of Dust to keep enemy wary
Things that hurt me:
- Armies that can deep stike and teleport
- things that can shoot Nagash off the board
- Anti magic “or just rolling bad on my castings
The Fun Kickoff.
I was matched up against Chris Cole and his Gutbusters. His list was a balanced Gutbusters army with 4 Tyrants , Ogers, Grots and Ironguts. Like Bryan, Chris is relatively new to AOS. The mission was Boarder War and the secondary objective I chose was Protect the King, “Keep Nagash alive”. I picked this objective because I felt that I would not need to get Nagash close to the fighting. The way the board sets up and the way I am able to deploy makes it easy for me to keep him safe against the Gutbusters and their lack of mobility. Tertiary Objective: Control two objectives at the same time with units with the Battleline role. I was able to deploy first with 7 drops. I chose to go first because I wanted to be able to get on top of the middle objectives before him. I ran my Chainrasps and was able to complete the Tertiary my first turn. I had planned this and placed my grave-site accordingly.
After about a 2 turns a grew overconfident and needed to clear some of his models. I moved Nagash up into the center of the board without an screening. I cast a few spells but did not do much damage. I had laid myself open to his general charging. During his next turn he made the charge with his Tyarant and one Butcher. He went first with his general, but was not able to do any meaningful damage. Nagash stuck back and killed both the Butcher and Tyrant. That basically ended the game.
It was a fun game and Chris was a really great sport. I hope to see him again at a tournament in the future.
I learned my overconfidence almost cost me 5 points. “Always keep Nagash safe!”
I maxed points that round, 17. That is good right? Well it means you are going to play someone that also maxed points. That can be bad. Many times I have thought about winning the first game but not maxing points to get a better match up in the 2nd round. I have never done this, but I do know that some player use this tactic.
The impossible win?
My second round opponent was Zachary Kennedy, He is the Katy GW manager. He had a nicely painted Fyreslayers army with a heavy focus on Hearthguard Berzerkers, backed up with lots of buffs from Battlesmiths and Runemasters. His 15 man Berzerkers is used as a super buffed unit, while he put the other 2 units in deep strike to pop up and hammer your flank. Not only is he a good general, his army his hard as hell to kill, all the while they can smash you. However the thing that worked the hardest against me was the mission, Escalation. This is my lists most difficult mission based on deployment. Even going back to when I was just learning how to play with Nagash. It is all about the deployment positioning. I can usually win the center, but it just takes me so long to get the to the corners I am usually behind on points. Nagash himself is not the only reason it is hard, my heroes and GGReapers have to deploy so far back I am just out of position and synergy. This mission is made for mobile armies, IMHO.
The secondary objective I picked was, “kill my opponents model with the most wounds”. I picked this because he had a few 6 wound models. I thought it may be easier than taking down his 15 Hearthguard. The Tertiary was to slay an enemy wizard, if they do not have a wizard then just kill a hero. That should be easy right, he is Fyreslayers after all. Hold up! He has a theme list, Gortrk and Felix. I loved the idea, however Felix was an allied wizard. Sooo I would have to find a way to to take him out. Thankfully I was able to do it with a nicely placed portal and a direct damage spell.
After about 4 turns I was able to grind through the center of his force. However I did not even get close to him on victory points. The final score was probably 8 to 2 or something. Zachary walked away with max points and I came out with 7 points and a big fat L. It was a very fun game I learned the true power of the forge!
Dogs, not going to last long!
Nagash oversees his minions.
A stacked hand.
The final game on Saturday was against Daniel Lee Nixon, and his Stormcast. I meet Daniel on Friday night, he hung around and watched me get my butt kicked by Khorne. He ran the Hammers of Sigmar and his list was built around deep striking and teleporting units. It would have been a very tricky list to beat in most games, however I got a lucky draw and faced him on the Total Commitment mission. In this mission it forces you to deploy all you units to the battlefield. Just from the mission a big portion of his armies power was taken away from him. He had a nicely balanced list with Liberators, Sequitors, nasty ass Evocators and 3 Ballista.
The Tertiary objective was to have models within 6 of the center and the enemy have none. This caused us to have a bit of a scrum for the middle, but I was able through attrition to whittle him down. For the Secondary I had to kill half his heroes. He had four so I needed to take out 2. I choose that because most Stormcast players tend to run their heroes up the board close to their units. This has always given me an opportunity to take them out.
I felt the battle swung back and forth for us. Eventually I was able to get my GGReapers into position and start wearing him down. I made a few tactical errors with Nagashs positioning, and then Nagash decided he could not roll for a turn. It took me 1.5 turns of shooting, spells, and CC to take out a 10 man unit of Evocators.
As we reached the final round he won the roll off to go first, and played his turn. After his turn it was decided that I was going to win the game, but I had not completed the Secondary and Tertiary. Daniel said something along the lines of, “you got the win, but you can’t get your secondary or Tertiary”… and Nagash replied, “Hold my Beer”. I new it was going to be a challenge, I had to kill his general and his caster and to make matters worse I think I was still locked in combat with his Evocators at the back of the board. In my “magic” phase I was able to Hand of Dust his general, cast Pinions on Nagash for extra movement, and kill the last of the Evocators. I had the movement to move way up the board. Between Nagash and some Chainrasps I was able to clear the center of the board and get max points.
Daniel was a great opponent, however I hope he did not feel demoralized at the end. Playing against Nagash with Stormcast is hard and playing on a mission that takes away all your army synergy makes that task even harder. He is a really nice guy that drove in from out of town to get a game. I wish him luck and it would be cool to see him again.
Game 1 on Sunday was against Andrew Fornea, and his Seraphon. A few months back we played against each other at a local tournament. We both had the exact same army list for both of these games. After that first game I put a lot of thoughts into my tactics. I played very conservatively with Nagash and I think it cost me the win. I had decided that if I ever played that list again I would be super aggressive. Well that was my plan, I think it hurt me this game. His list consists of a Slann, Thunderquake Starhost, and a Shadowstrike Starhost. The Thunderquake is the anvil of his army and the Bastiladons are very very hard to kill. The Ripperdactyls are part of Shadowstrike. His Rippedactyls are the bane of my GGReapers. Both games they nearly whiped the unit and it took me several turn to do any meaningful damage to them.
The mission was The Better Part of Valour. His list is way more mobile than mine, he is able to teleport around the field and capture things. So if I was playing smart I would have sat on my objectives and played for the long win or try and get a minor on kill points. However the Tertiary was to have half your starting models in the enemy deployment zone, “Thanks Kyle”. I Just had to kill a unit of 10 Skinks to get the Secondary.
He took the first turn and put 7 wounds into Nagash from his Bastiladons. He moved around getting his screening units in place and put a hurting on my GGRs. On my turn I went for broke. All my spells pretty much did not cast or they were dispelled. I was not able to get much traction with my magic. I then ran most of my units up the board to get them across the center-line for the Tertiary. I moved Nagash into charge range and charged. Here is were I made my biggest blunder. I thought I needed to kill his unit of 20 skinks to get the Secondary, however they were summoned and I only needed to kill the 5 that were left right next to me. I should have charged him into the small unit and then just let the Chainrasp handle the 20 skinks and Bastiladons on their own to soak up some shooting. Nagash did hardly any wounds during the combat phase and took a few more from a Bastiladon tail. The only thing positive that happened during the assault was that I killed the small unit of Skinks and secured the Secondary.
All hope rested on the double turn. And all hope was lost. If I could have gotten that double turn I may have made some headway and possibly won the game. However it was not meant to be. I was handed my second loss of the tournament. Andrew maxed points and I was able to come away with 7 again. I will probably get a chance to face him again at a local. I am not sure if I will play it safe or go for broke again.
Death from the Sky.
For my final game I faced Brandon Prescott, from Dallas and his Seraphon. He ran 2 large units of Ripperdactyls, a Slann, Engine of the Gods and 4 unit of Skinks. I was not very excited to get Ripperdactyled to death again, but at least he did not have lots of shooting so I could reasonably protect Nagash. The mission was Focal Points, the Tertiary was to Keep at least one battleline unit, alive while destroying all your opponents. The secondary I picked was to destroy his most expensive unit, which was either of his 2 units of 6 Ripperdactyls.
I knew he had lots of deep striking and teleport so I bubble wrapped my heroes as best as I could. He took the fist turn on his summoning roll he brought down 3 Ripperdactyles, “oh great all I need is more of them to deal with”. He got into position with his Skinks and deep struck only one of his Ripper units. He decided to try and take down a unit of 30 Chainrasps. By some miracle I was able to weather the storm and the unit had 5 models remaining. I had to burn a command point to keep them on the table. I would have like to summon them back at full health, but because of the positioning of the grave sites I did not have anywhere to drop them. In the end it won the the match and helped me pick up the Secondary. I was able to get them back to almost full health over the next few turns.
During my turn I was not able to get much accomplished, I got a little better positioning, but still had to maintain my bubble wrap because of his other unit of rippers had not deployed yet. He won the roll off and teleported some Skinks around the board. He dropped in his other unit of Rippers. His placement on this was a bit of a mistake, he put them on my back line and sort of ended up hitting 3 different units and he was very bunched up. He did some ok damage, but I rolled very good on my save and it put him in a bad spot. Especially because he was about 4 inches from Nagash. Over the next few turns I was able to kill off all his all his Rippers and free my units up to move around the board. After his Rippers were taken out most of the punch was gone from his army. We talked it over and decided that I would win. However I still needed to kill 3 units of Skinks to get the Tertiary. I was able to get into a good position with my army and made some very nice high charge rolls. Once the all his Skinks were locked in we called it a game.
It was definitely a hard fought battle and on another mission he would have probably out maneuvered me and won. I will tell you one thing that Ripperdactyl alpha strike is the real deal. You cant run from it, you better just Hide Yo Kids, Hide Yo Wife because those Rippers are raping everybody out here.
My argument to add more minor objectives.
One of the best things about the tournament format was the secondary and Tertiary objectives. I would love to see more of these. I would do something like the secondary is built in for the mission and worth 5 points and then each Tertiary you complete will give you 2 or 3. I think that you should be able to complete 2 or 3 Tertiary every game. The current list would need to be expanded.
Some of the reason for extra objectives
- It keeps good player in the hunt even when they get a bad match up.
- It helps give new players something to shoot for even when they feel they are outmatched.
- It will help diversify scoring. You would see a good bit of ranking movement every round
- Would make the games more interesting and fun.
- May be a bit much for new players to compute
- Could cause issues with final battle points. “what happens with a 1 loss player with 85 battle points is placed ahead of a 5-0 player with 82 battle points?”
- Would these extra objectives be balanced?
I would just like to see the scoring system help out those that may have had issues with a mission or an army that is a hard counter. “all this said by the guy the was 3-2”.
Not only did I get to play against some very cool people. I also met some interesting characters at the event. I just want to give a shoutout to a few people:
Jonathan Knapik I am sooo happy I did not have to play that Plague Monk spam. Those bells are nasty.
Andrew Carlson I was able to sit next to the GT winner during supper Saturday night. He is a very friendly person and his Duaghters of Khane could not be stopped. “Go Slambo”
Jeffrey Visgaitis I got to speak with Jeffry a good bit and picked up some usefully information about Khorne. “and how to beat Jon if I played him”. He also gave out movement trays as part of prize support from his company. He is Co-Owner of Way Walker studios. Check them out https://waywalkerstudios.com/
Quick Thoughts on the Other Games.
- 40k: Was packed out. Many pro teams came out. The variety of armies, lists, paint and people was truly staggering. I did get to stop and chat with Jose and his cousin. Also got to see some of the others locals that come around Montags. I am not sure how my old Guard list would have done.
- Infinity: recognized a few faces. Terrain looked nice. Did not get a chance to talk to anyone or check out the models.
- 30k: Looked great. smallish group with awesome looking armies. “Tell me how in the hell did everyone that played get a prize. Is that true?” I spoke with a few of the group and pointed them to Montags and said the 30k scene is popping.
- Guild Ball: What the hell is that?
I Won….not so fast.
I won the trophy, certificate, and prizes for best Death army. I was a bit surprised by this, but thought I must have made enough hobby points to make it to the top. I was honestly excited, I know that I put in a crap ton of effort and it seemed to have paid off. When I got home and finally got settled, I got on FB to check and see what people were posting about the event. Then I saw Kyles post “First, there was an error in calculating awards. The Best General for Death was given to the best overall Death player rather than the intended highest battle points death player. Marcus Miller is our Best General for Death and will be receiving a framed certificate and hammer. Congratulations Marcus.” I pulled up all the scores and realized their mistake. I was the top Death player overall, but not the highest in battle points. I want to make it clear I was not asked to return any prizes and I have no hard feelings to whoever made the mistake. But I will be honest and say I was crushed. I think it was the fact that I was on top of the mountain, then I was plunged into the depths. I knew I did not rightful earn the prizes and messaged Ski to let him know I would be returning all the winnings. He told me to keep everything, but that is not right. The Trophy and certificate hold no value if I did not earn them and the cost of the models would have to come out of someones pocket. I don’t need that on my soul. So as soon as I can I will get it all back to them so they can pass it along to the true winner. My only regret is that Nagash did not get to face ether of the other top death armies. I feel confident that the lord of death would have put them in their place!!
Must be better next time!
Forgetting the board and fatigue, losing my voice.
By the end of the day Saturday I had lost my voice. I think it was having to talk over a room full of people all day. The next morning I was not able to speak very loudly at all. I was not able to have my regular amount of banter and sarcasm with my opponent and that sucked. I was better by Monday.
I could tell I was mentally drained by the end of the event. I drove all the way home, about 35 minutes across the city, “thank goodness it was Sunday and no traffic”. Looked in the back seat and realized I had left my board in the hotel lobby. I made some calls and Jonathan said he would keep an eye on it while I drove back. 27 minutes later I was able to pick up my board and drive 35 minutes back to my house. I blame this on how mentally drained I was. All I could think on the way home was, “thank goodness it was not one of my kids”.
Heading to Goldmine this weekend for a local tournament. Hope it makes 8 so I can get some Texas Masters points. The downside is I will not have a fully painted army because of a list change due to the Generals handbook 2019. My Warzone list went up about 200 points. So I am dropping and changing some things. I would love a full rework, but do not have the time to get all that going. So I have just modified what I had. I did add the Purple Sun. Lets see how that works out. MUAHAHAHAH
This may be my last dance with Nagash. Not sure yet we see how it goes, the points increase for him and the portal was a bit much if you ask me.
I am currently in 10 place in Houston. I got around 92 points at Warzone, and hope to pick a few more up at Goldmine this weekend. I will not be able to make it to Wargames, because it is my first week of school. It will be interesting to see were I stand after July. I am undecided on Slambo yet. It is on a good weekend, I am on the fence about buying a ticket. It is possible I will see what everything looks like after Wargames and make a decision then. I hope they have tickets. My best bet for points is to go to Slambo, but can my army live up to the challenge? TBD
I like playing Legion of Nagash. It is just that 850 points plus a portal and a Necromancer to give a few extra spells and I am 1100 points into a list with only 2 models. It can be a challenge at times. Seeing all these other list and how strong some of them are and all I think of is. You give me a top list and I will not loose 2 games. I also want a bit more maneuverability in my army. I want more Spam, I want more smash, I want to be less reliant on the Winds Of Magic.
These are the options for how I am going to proceed the rest of the year in order from easiest to hardest build:
- Rework my LONagash army
- Legion of Grief
- Flesh eaters Gristlegore with 3 terrorgheist
- Khorne Bloodcrusher spam
- Blades of Khorne with 3 bloodthristers
- Blades of Khorne Skullcrusher spam
Or should I just build a Daughters of Khaine? They are so hot right now!
I will me playing around and see what looks like the most viable army for me to make and use. I am all over the board with it. The clock is ticking.
Well you made it thanks for reading my 4476 words.
Would like to thank Kristen Scott for taking the awesome photos for the event. Check out the full gallery of photos here: Link