onsdag 11. oktober 2017

Norway Hugin Captain's Story

:: Preface ::

Dear friends and readers of this blog. It is with great sadness that I write this post. Before I dive into this issue, I want to explain to you why I'm writing this. The day after I came home from WTC2017 I wrote an ill-advised blog post where I blamed the opposing team from our last game, France Falbala, accusing them of unsportsmanlike behaviour by going behind our backs following our departure from Blankenberge. Not long after I published this post I was contacted by Sylvain, captain of France Falbala, which assured me that the info I had (which was the source of the blog post) was incorrect. He told me, unequivocally, that Falbala did not go to the head judge. This led to me deleting said blog post and instead issue a public apology to France Falbala (which you can read here).

The deleted blog post was a complaint I filed to the WTC Committee where I requested the original score from the game between Norway Hugin and France Falbala (3-2 in favour of Hugin, for the record) be restored. Upon issuing the apology to Falbala I wrote another e-mail to the WTC Committee, where I (among other things) apologized for my language in my original complaint:
"I also would like to apologize and ask for your forgiveness for the harsh language in the previous email/blog post. I hope you can empathize with our situation as our last ~3 hours in Belgium were absolutely terrible. Words cannot describe how frustrated, angry and sad the atmosphere in the taxi on the way to Brussels was. It is not that we lost, 4-2 would have been a strong result for Hugin which we would have been proud of, it's that we feel robbed of a win we earned."

I also made sure to not engage in any public discussion or issue any further statements after I posted the apology to ensure that the committee could conduct its investigation as they saw fit. Contrary to what their published conclusion claims (which you can read here), the committee never interviewed Hugin. I have asked all players on my team and neither of them have been contacted. The same applies for me. I replied to the WTC Committee in private at first, requesting a swift reply. I was disappointed to say the least when I saw multiple committee members active on various social media and forums instead of answering me. They decided to make their findings public without interviewing our party (i.e. me or Hugin), asking any questions or allowing us any follow-up. As I see it, this forces me to present our case in public as well. I don't mind this because I believe in transparency with everything I do, but after the first, ill-advised blog post I tried to keep this in private because of what the committee wanted (as you can see in multiple comments). That no longer seems possible. I see a lot of people confused by the conclusion because, like me, they don't understand how it makes sense. They speculate that maybe it's something else, maybe Hugin lied, maybe we behaved poorly. Thus, I write this post to clarify what happened as much as I possibly can. To that end I encourage anyone reading this who notices anything factually incorrect to contact me so that I can look into it and update this post. 


:: Table of Contents ::

1. Background


The 6th round at this year's WTC was approximately half an hour behind schedule. We were also informed that due to beautiful weather all weekend there was a lot of traffic expected from Blankenberge to Brussels. This was a problem for us because Norway Hugin had a really tight schedule to catch our flight back home on Sunday evening. An extra half hour of traffic compared to Google's estimate and the event being an extra half hour behind schedule meant we were in real danger of having to forfeit our last match.

I explained our predicament to the organizers and they were very helpful in trying to find solutions. At first I was told that if I could find another team in our bracket (4-1) willing to play us then they would manually pair us up and we could start playing. I don't remember how many teams I asked but nobody wanted to face us. Understandable, given our double Cryx lineup and the reduced pause in-between games they'd get. For the record I appreciate the various teams I talked to taking their time to at least consider this and I have no hard feelings towards anyone for declining. In any case I had to give up and instead it was agreed that Norway Hugin would get to play on a set table for the last round. This allowed us to set up the scenario and terrain and bought us valuable minutes.

Eventually we drew France Falbala in the pairing. They were as forthcoming as they could have been and we got through the pairings quickly to start our games. I had an enjoyable game against my opponent and I did not perceive that he nor any of his teammates deliberately tried to play us for time (which they certainly could have and this would almost certainly have won them the match. Kudos to Falbala for doing all they could to get a good match going!). I lost my game but two of my team mates won their games, leading to a tentative 2:1 score in favour of Hugin. There were two remaining games: Hugin Skorne vs Falbala Convergence and Hugin Cryx vs Falbala Grymkin.

The Skorne vs Convergence game had a judge call (see 2. Rules Dispute for details) and ended in our favour. This gave us the 3 necessary games to take the match. Our taxi had arrived so I ordered our last player to forfeit his game and start packing models. I helped out our Skorne and Cryx players pack their things until it was no longer feasible to multi-task it. I handed in the sheets to either the floor judge or the organizer representative in our room (I honestly don't remember). At this point I notified the Norwegian community following our games that we had won our match vs Falbala as I carried my own bags into the waiting taxi. When the rest of my team finished packing we left the venue.

Once in the taxi spirits were high, obviously. After a little while we noticed that our win was registered on the official website for WTC. We thought all we had to do now was make our plane and we'd be good (we did, by the way, make the plane home). Unfortunately shortly after we were notified by observers back home that the registered result had been changed. Falbala was now listed as the winner.

2. Rules Dispute 


I have written an in-depth post about this game in particular. Although a lot of it is irrelevant to the discussion at hand I have done my best to provide as much detail as possible for the sake of transparency and clarity. You can read about this in full here: link.

Please note that when the ruling was made, the Hugin Skorne player specifically asked the judge if the resolution was correct and if the clock should be restarted. He received a clear and unequivocal answer to both questions: "Yes". To the best of my knowledge, this decision was accepted by both parties playing the game and the game went on. Following our win after this certain members of Falbala were clearly disappointed. The discussion was mainly in French so I couldn't follow it. I assumed it was the natural frustration which comes with losing. Hands were shook, models were removed, scoresheets were updated.

As noted above I helped our players pack. A few minutes went by (see Timeline below) and I asked the judge for re-assurance: "Is this it, did we win?" His reply was simply: "Yes". I asked again, "Are you sure?" because I wanted to be 100% sure that this issue was settled. Again the answer was "yes". With that knowledge I put the issue to rest. I can't remember if I handed the judge or the organizer representative at our room the sheets but I do distinctly remember handing them over. I was not contacted again by any party about this issue prior to our departure from the venue.

3. Timeline


This timeline shows as precisely as possible what happened and when during the rules dispute. Allow me to present the overview first before presenting in detail what the points mean:

18:14 (ca) Issue is being debated
18:15 Taxi Arrives
18:16 (ca) Issue is resolved, game ends shortly after
18:23 Win is announced by me to Norwegians on Slack
18:24 (ca) Sheets are handed in, confirmation of game state is provided by judge to Hugin
18:32 Taxi leaves
18:36 Head judge appears uninformed of the issue (link)
18:39 Results are being registered for Norway Hugin vs France Falbala (link)
18:42 Norway Hugin is officially announced as the winning team (link)
18:45 France Falbala is officially announced as the winning team (link)

The issue was being debated by multiple players from both teams. Once I realized what was happening (i.e. players were arguing, not just observing) I ordered the non-participating players to step away. I know that this was at roughly 18:14 because right after this happened I was notified that our taxi arrived, at which point I checked the time and it was right on time (we had ordered it for 18:15). The issue didn't take long to resolve and once it was resolved the game quickly ended.

Following this I filled out sheets and helped our players pack. Once we could no longer multi-task the packing I announced to the Norwegians following us on Slack that we had won our game. This is timestamped 18:23. Right after I made this announcement I asked the judge for a final confirmation before handing in the sheets, so this would be approximately at 18:24.

Norway Hugin had an internal deadline we had agreed upon to have the taxi moving by 18:30. This was the level of risk we were willing to take. Once everyone was inside and the taxi started moving I checked my clock to see if we were on schedule. We were ever so slightly behind, 18:32. It's worth noting that upon us leaving the venue, none of us had seen the head judge in the room where we played.

A picture was posted to the head judge's timeline on Facebook by Gil Surepi with the timestamp 18:36. On this picture Jason appears to be still uninformed of our issue (and not involved in any other dispute requiring his attention). I have asked Gil when this picture was taken. He confirmed to me that it was posted right after it was taken.

3 minutes later, at 18:39, the results from Hugin vs Falbala are being registered. As agreed for tie breaker purposes the Falbala Grymkin vs Hugin Cryx matchup is resolved as a scenario win for Falbala Grymkin. As concluded the Falbala Convergence vs Hugin Skorne matchup is resolved as an assassination win to Skorne. It's worth noting I suppose that the Falbala Cryx vs Hugin Cygnar matchup (i.e. my game) is reported wrong: This game was won by Falbala Cryx on scenario, not assassination.

From the moment the issue was resolved it took roughly 16 minutes until our taxi left the venue. During this time Norway Hugin was not informed that the issue had been escalated. To the best of our knowledge we had done everything one could reasonably have expected of us to resolve it before taking our leave. Based on the post on the head judge's Facebook timeline I would estimate that he was informed of the issue somewhere around 18:36 - 18:40. I wonder why we were not explicitly told to wait, told of the escalation or otherwise informed before we left the venue. I would like to remind you that I have received confirmation from Sylvain, captain of team Falbala, that they did not know of the escalation either.

4. WTC Committee Conclusion


You can read the WTC Committee Conclusion here: link. The WTC Committee started an investigation following my complaint. In the post linked above they claim to have interviewed all parties involved. As noted in the preface of this post this is incorrect. No members of Norway Hugin were interviewed. As I read it, their entire conclusion boils down to one simple thing:

"From the French Team, the Floor Judge and 3rd party observers we heard that the Norway Team captain said as he left “We can’t wait, our taxi is here”.This indicates they knew there was something to wait for, but left anyway. 
Based on this, the entire rest of the issue is irrelevant, the game was abandoned and the Head Judge call stands. The current standings remain correct."
This implies that I have been lying all along. That all of this work, the complaint and my facts are based on a lie. Norway Hugin tried its utmost to ensure that the game state was resolved before we left. As noted under 2. Rules Dispute, the floor judge was asked multiple questions to which we received unequivocal answers. As 3. Timeline shows, there was at least 14 minutes from the issue was settled until we left. During this time we could have been explicitly informed but we were not. Sylvain, captain of France Falbala, has confirmed to me that he did not know of the escalation either.

The only logical conclusion for the WTC Committee resolution is that I am lying and have been all along. That I knew of the escalation all along and have been playing dumb. There is of course no argument I can make against this. I am sad, hurt and angry because I am not believed. The sole evidence I have seen presented against me is someone hearing me say "We can't wait, our taxi is here", out of context. I would have happily stayed behind and missed my flight if it meant my team would have won this game. I guess it doesn't matter what I say, if you believe I lied about this to begin with then all of this could just as well be fabricated.

It boils down to my integrity. I cannot remember ever having had this questioned before. When I have been in the wrong, I have been quick to accept responsibility and forfeit whatever my mistake "provided". Sadly, that is not enough. There is nothing I can do about this.

5. Closing Words


Battle at Lund 2016 was my first international Warmachine & Hordes event. Prior to starting this game I played Warhammer competitively. While a lot of things are similar, one thing stood out: In games against a lot of Swedes, including finals against Jeppa Resmark, Olov Winroth and Fredrik Raben, in games against the German powerhouses Robin Maukisch and Ben Fuzi, and in games against the Great Dane Laurents Rønved I had the same experience: These were awesome people to play and awesome games to be had. I thoroughly enjoyed every single game at this convention. And do you know what? That was only the beginning. In every single event I've attended, I have had amazing games. I cannot recall a single Warmachine & Hordes event game where there was an issue post-match between me and my opponent.

Since Battle at Lund 2016 I have won quite a few big, international events. This has on many occasions led to friends and colleagues who don't play this game ask me if there's money in Warmachine & Hordes. Every single time I have received this question I have replied with a smile that "No, there is not. And do you know what? I'm really happy about that. I like the purity of the game. It's pure competition." And that's exactly why I've been enjoying all these events so much. It's pure competition.

Today, I no longer have that feeling. From a competition point of view there is no doubt in my mind that Hugin beat Falbala. While I understand that the analysis of the game situation is irrelevant for the conclusions of the WTC Committee's investigation, it means that we're not losing because we actually lost a played game. We are receiving this loss because of what I can, at best, call a technicality. The pure competition aspect is gone. I don't mind losing if it's deserved, but as I wrote previously in this post we feel robbed of a win we know we earned. I can only hope that those of you who know me will believe me and understand why I'm reacting so much to this.

Any game needs rules. Players won't always agree on everything. A neutral third party to interfere as needed is necessary. I can deal with the technicalities and implications of this. However, what we're  discussing here isn't even related to the game at all. It's at the level where my integrity as a person is being questioned. I have no idea how on Earth this happened exactly and probably never will. What I do know is that this is everything I don't like about competitive miniature gaming. It's gotten to the point where this issue is affecting my daily life. This is too much.

I will never attend the WTC again.

Norway Hugin Skorne vs France Falbala Convergence

This post will detail the game state and describe what happened between Hugin Skorne and Falbala Convergence at Game 6, WTC 2017. If anyone finds anything factually incorrect here, please notify me and I will look into it and update this post accordingly.

:: Table of Contents ::

1. Army Lists
2. Scenario
3. State of the Game
4. Rules Dispute
5. Resolution and Analysis

1. Army Lists


Hugin Skorne dropped Xerxis2, France Falbala dropped Axis:


2. Scenario 


The scenario was Outlast from Steamroller 2017:


3. State of the Game


Skorne started. The game was in its third round. CPs were 0:0. Axis had feated bottom of 2. Convergence had lost one TEP, all but one of its light jacks, a heavy was crippled and a lot of servitors were destroyed. Xerxis2 had feated this turn and a lot of his army had activated. Axis was left on 3 boxes with 3 focus camped. A previous hit on him by a Basilisk Krea had left him Paralysed. The token was next to the model.

The Skorne army had at least 3 Basilisk activations left. A Basilisk Drake moved up within 6" of Axis and Axis elected to counter-charge it. At this point in time he was in the middle of the Skorne army which was shaped roughly as a crescent. Neither player remembered that Paralysis prevented this move. The Basilisk Drake which was counter-charged didn't get to spray since it was engaged and its activation did no damage to Axis.

4. Rules Dispute


The next Basilisk (another Drake) activated. During this model's activation, the players remembered that Paralysis should have prevented the counter-charge. Upon discovering that he had made an illegal move, the Falbala Convergence player offered to resign. The Hugin Skorne player declined this resignation, because he believed it was both players' responsibility to remember the various token effects. Instead, he wanted to call a judge, which they agreed to do.

After some debate, it was agreed that rolling back the last 2 Basilisk activations and placing Axis back to where he was prior to the counter-charge was trivial. Both the Falbala Convergence player and the Hugin Skorne player agreed to this ruling.

Prior to starting the clock, the Hugin Skorne player double-checked with the judge. He asked two questions, receiving 2 unequivocal answers:

"Is this how we should resolve this issue?"
'Yes.'
"Shall I start the clock?"
'Yes.'
After this, he started the clock and they ensued the game. The first Basilisk Drake to activate sprayed Axis and dealt 1 box to him, leaving him on 2 boxes and 2 focus. The second Basilisk Drake to activate sprayed Axis and dealt 4 boxes to him, killing him and ending the game on assassination.


5. Resolution and Analysis


The game was resolved with both players in agreement. From the Hugin Skorne player's perspective, this was not a game-breaking judge call. Had the judge ruled to play the game from the position it was, Axis would have required some crazy dice to survive. He had feated and was paralyzed (which is not shakeable), which with his SPD5 would not have left him with a whole lot of options had he even survived the rest of the Hugin Skorne player's turn. Being in the middle of the Skorne army, lacking most of his lights, a TEP and a heavy it is highly unlikely that he would have lived past the ensuing Skorne turn. The CP score was 0:0 and Xerxis2 was out of threat. Hugin Skorne could have happily played on from this position.

tirsdag 26. september 2017

I apologize to France and team France Falbala

Yesterday I wrote a complaint to the WTC committee about the results in team Norway Hugin's game 6 vs team France Falbala. That post was based on information I had received which has since proven to be factually incorrect.

I therefore offer my most sincere apology to the French meta in general and team France Falbala in particular. 

My post hurt you undeservedly in a very negative way. For that I am truly sorry. Florian, Nicolas, Sylvain, Victor and Vincent, I hope you'll let me buy you all dinner and a bunch of beers the next time we meet as a token of my apology. 

The fact is that team France Falbala never went behind our backs in any way. I have been in touch with Sylvain, their captain, and he assures me they had no hand in what happened here. This all appears to be a huge misunderstanding. I don't know where the miscommunication occured nor how exactly this all happened. I hope the WTC committee will get to the bottom of this and that the original game result of 3-2 in favour of Norway Hugin will be restored. 

Again, team France Falbala, I am truly sorry. 

tirsdag 8. august 2017

Iron Moot: Nordic Championship Finals (#564): Haley2 vs Coven

:: Prologue ::

This game was recorded by WarRoomPL, check out the video here: link.

For the Finals I was paired against another Norwegian, Sverre. Sverre had been tearing up the 'moot throughout the weekend with his Coven banes, winning the Masters on Saturday and winning all games thus far in the Nordic Championship. We play in the same club and I know that he's a very strong player. My mind was certainly in the game by now and I was eager to see if I could make some magic happen here.

:: Lists ::

:: Cygnar ::
TimeStorm v2
Theme: Heavy Metal
4 / 4 Free Cards 75 / 75 Army
Major Victoria Haley - WJ: +25
- Squire - PC: 0
- Firefly - PC: 8
- Thorn - PC: 13
- Stormwall - PC: 39 (Battlegroup Points Used: 25)
- Lightning Pod
Storm Strider - PC: 18
Journeyman Warcaster - PC: 0
- Charger - PC: 9
Lieutenant Allison Jakes - PC: 0
- Cyclone - PC: 13
Captain Arlan Strangewayes - PC: 0
:: Opponent ::
Coven, Bane Theme
- Desecrator
- 2x Arc Node
Wraith Engine
Tartarus
2x Max Riders
2x Min Warriors + UA

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

The scenario was Spread The Net and Sverre went first. I wanted to try and deal with the right flank first, isolate the left and then move on later, if possible. To that end I deployed Junior's Charger and the Strider on the right flank, enabling me some anti-bane moves there, with the 'wall situated in the middle.


:: Game ::

Sverre runs up very aggressively with the Wraith Engine and an Arc Node (sporting Infernal Machine) B2B with Egregore in the center.


I have a very interesting play here: Thorn is within 17" of the Arc Node, meaning I can run and TK it around, reaction drive, TK the Wraith Engine and hopefully blast the both of them for great justice. To do this I need to feat to cover my exposed models (there's no way to keep Thorn safe if I do this), but feating isn't that bad: If Haley charges the Wraith Engine she gets pretty much the entire army, forcing a number of tough decisions on Sverre's part: How does he contest the middle zone? Where do the Witches go? How long will it take Warriors to come online when they can't run now? How does he feat on the Strider? Will the Riders on the right flank be able to do their job properly? And so on. I premeasure to ensure that if Jakes' Cyclone runs up, there's no LoS to Haley for the other Arc Node and thus I can camp 0.

The plan works out decently enough. The Wraith Engine doesn't take as much damage as I had hoped but I love my position and the Arc Node is left on 2 boxes, neither of which are its node system.


Sverre is annoyed at his mistake to let me get the Arc node like that and set up so he wants to blind the Strider with Stygian Abyss (critical hit) to get back in the game. This might see his right flank make it through the day, for now. However after 2 attempts without a single crit he ends up killboxing a Witch and simply concedes the game.


Tournament Victory to the Swans!

:: Evaluation ::

When in doubt, push! I live by this motto and I wholeheartedly believe it's the best way to approach this game. Pouncing on opportunities lets you completely change how this game plays. It's something I practice and pursue relentlessly. You might not think it based on my slower and more calculated games (such as the semi-finals vs Thexus), but I love to make plays like in this game.

Indeed Coven banes is a very hard matchup for Haley2 and I believe the matchup is sort of playable because Haley2 has crazy angles and plays available. They are very hard to find, but also very hard to shut down to her innate flexibility. True, the Arc Node positioning here was easily preventable, but there are a million angles to consider all the time. Slips will happen, and when they do, I'm there to look for ways to take advantage of them.

Winning the Nordic Championship felt amazing, especially considering my lack of preparation for the event. The weekend as a whole, many thanks to the community of course, has raised my motivation significantly for Warmachine & Hordes again. A big thanks to the organizers, opponents and fellow players at this year's Iron Moot. I had a blast!

I hope you enjoyed the tournament reports. If you have any feedback for me, please leave it in the comments. 

Iron Moot: Nordic Championship #3 (#563): Haley2 vs Thexus

:: Prologue ::

This game was recorded by WarRoomPL, check out the video here: link.

For the semi-finals I drew Oskar yet again! We had the exact same map and scenario we played on the day before. I was expecting another tough fight against Ossrum, much to my surprise Oskar dropped Thexus! I was super relieved as dismantling Thexus should be trivial for my list.

:: Lists ::

:: Cygnar ::
TimeStorm v2
Theme: Heavy Metal
4 / 4 Free Cards 75 / 75 Army
Major Victoria Haley - WJ: +25
- Squire - PC: 0
- Firefly - PC: 8
- Thorn - PC: 13
- Stormwall - PC: 39 (Battlegroup Points Used: 25)
- Lightning Pod
Storm Strider - PC: 18
Journeyman Warcaster - PC: 0
- Charger - PC: 9
Lieutenant Allison Jakes - PC: 0
- Cyclone - PC: 13
Captain Arlan Strangewayes - PC: 0
:: Opponent ::
Thexus, Operating Theater
- 2x Heavies
3x Adrenal Flood units
3x Non-flood units
Aiyana & Holt
2x Overlords
3x heavy-buff solos

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

I got first turn on Outlast. The idea was to run stuff up and then back up and shoot without feating top of 2, feating top of 3 and grinding from there.


:: Game ::

I take care to have backline elements safe.


Drudges fan out.


I take care to squeeze together in the middle to avoid Ambushers ruining my day. I kill ~10 models this turn.


Oskar pushes as hard as he can.


I reply with feat and kill ~20-25 models. The Strider charging and having Temporal really clears stuff out. The Stormwall pods an Adrenal Flood leader.


Thexus can't do a whole lot this turn, as per usual in Shift.


It's all about cleanup now, but I make my single biggest mistake of the entire weekend. In a moment of pure stupidity and greed I send Haley into the left zone instead of simply backing off. This is a terrible move as it puts her in range of Aiyana, Holt, Overlords and Thexus and there really is no need for me to score here. I haven't seen the recorded game at the time of this writing, but I'm sure the commentators (rightfully) roast me for this move.


Oskar goes for the kill. Luckily for me, he misses the boosted 8+ to land TK. Without that hit he doesn't have the necessary damage to kill me. I take 8 boxes.


I heal 6 boxes and back off with 2 focus to spare. Anything not Thexus is killed. Oskar gets one last incredible long-shot which fails and I kill Thexus.

Victory to the Swans!

:: Evaluation ::

There's not a whole lot to say about this game. It's very straight forward, I know the matchup and my list is very well suited to taking on Thexus. I make a very greedy mistake, dice gods somehow love me and I survive to win. I hope I never, ever this again.

Also, yay finals!

Iron Moot: Nordic Championship #2 (#562): Haley2 vs Coven

:: Prologue ::

This game was recorded by WarRoomPL, check out the video here: link

For the second game I drew Magnus and his Cryx. I first played against Magnus in the finals for this year's Swedish Masters (link), where I beat his Deneghra1 Ghost Fleet with my Haley2 Technical Death Metal list. How times have changed in the months since, this time Magnus dropped his Coven bane theme list and I had the TimeStorm configuration.

:: Lists ::

:: Cygnar ::
TimeStorm v2
Theme: Heavy Metal
4 / 4 Free Cards 75 / 75 Army
Major Victoria Haley - WJ: +25
- Squire - PC: 0
- Firefly - PC: 8
- Thorn - PC: 13
- Stormwall - PC: 39 (Battlegroup Points Used: 25)
- Lightning Pod
Storm Strider - PC: 18
Journeyman Warcaster - PC: 0
- Charger - PC: 9
Lieutenant Allison Jakes - PC: 0
- Cyclone - PC: 13
Captain Arlan Strangewayes - PC: 0
:: Opponent ::
Coven, Bane Theme
- 2x Flying, finisher-birds
- 2x Arc Node
Wraith Engine
Tartarus
Machine Wraith
Min Riders
Max Riders
Min Warriors + UA
Max Warriors + UA

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

The scenario was Standoff and Magnus got first turn. My plan here was to overwhelm a flank, hopefully start scoring and deal with the Banes piecemeal.


:: Game ::

Stuff runs up, Riders on the left receive Occultation.


I go for a cheeky play: Pod in the center allows leaps via objective to Banes. Crap dice result in only a single Warrior dropping. Worth a shot since I had nothing to do save for setting up.


The Riders on the left consolidate and fan out. Smart. Riders on the right send one charging into the Strider while the rest form up with Warriors. Magnus intended to feat this turn but forgot to do so...


...which allows a decisive move for me! The idea is to charge ahead with the Strider into Warriors and Stormwall into Wraith Engine. Despite all of this presence dice don't cooperate with me at all and I cannot kill off the Bane Warriors UA on the left. I lose my train of thought for a moment and send Thorn to contest. Very, very dumb move. The Warrior UA toughing the Stormwall's pod made me lose my focus for a bit...


...which meant Magnus was able to put a ton of pressure on Thorn and the Strider, killing the former and leaving the latter on a single box.


I realized I had forgotten to move the Squire when I wanted to pull a focus now. I apologized to Magnus as this was an honest mistake. I believe the only piece which mattered was the Arc Node, we agreed to play on.

I had spent a ton of time up until now and thus pictures were not my top priority for the rest of the game. What happened next was a series of sad dice rolls on my part: I could not for the life of me get rid of the Riders on the left flank, despite committing all of my forces there to it. The Strider charged the Riders on my right flank and sent some bolts into Banes but Magnus had some amazing tough rolls which, with rise, essentially leaves the effort void.

Little did I know that tides were about to change! Magnus charges in with a number of Banes and Tartarus on my Stormwall and they all fluff! I survive on a ton of boxes, which I have no business doing. The Riders there try and mess with my backline but they aren't doing a whole lot of work either, luckily.


I clear up the stuff in the left zone, run the Squire to contest the rectangle and consolidate my position. Unfortunately I forget to activate the Firefly, which could well have been a big deal here.


Banes rush ahead yet again.


My shooting's really lacklustre and this leaves a ton of Banes alive in the bottom part of the table...


...however, yet again Magnus fluffs utterly and the Stormwall survives! From here on out I'm able to clear it up and win on CP bottom of 7!

Victory to the Swans!

:: Evaluation ::

What a batshit crazy game! I don't know where to start. This matchup is super hard and I was lucky I found an opening. I blew that my mis-positioning the Strider and giving away Thorn though, on top of a couple of turns of shit dice. Then things started turning around and Magnus had his share of shit dice (to say the least!), making the game weave back and forth multiple times.

The mistakes in this game are amateur level mistakes: Forgetting to feat, move Squire, activate Firefly, we both had our issues. More than anything I believe this is fatigue setting in, it's a tense game in a very hard matchup on day number 3 in the most important tournament of the event. When you look at it in hindsight it looks silly but in every single event I've been to, day number 3 sees considerably worse plays than days 1 and 2. It's just the way things are. With more practice games behind me this summer I believe I would have made less of these mistakes. Volume matters, you gotta make this game a habit.

I was very happy by how I managed to come back in this game. At one point I very, very nearly conceded so I could go home early (we had a 3-hour drive ahead of us) but then I thought "what the heck, it's the Nordic Championship after all and dice can happen". Dice indeed did happen and this certainly helped me.

I strongly suggest you guys check out the recorded video of this match. A lot of the finer points are missing in this report because I didn't take enough pictures. It was a super tense and enjoyable game!

Iron Moot: Nordic Championship #1 (#561): Haley2 vs Haley2

:: Prologue ::

This game was recorded by WarRoomPL, check out the video here: link

Iron Moot this year was a shark tank. That is a big reason for why I love this event, it brings together a large amount of very strong players. It makes for excellent games and hard challenges, the stuff I've come to love about Warmachine & Hordes in a nutshell. The Nordic Championship spots reflected this accordingly, take a look at the list below:


Last year I lost to Johan Dyrlind's Karchev in the semi-finals of the Nordic Championship (link), this year I was hoping to go all the way. As always though I do my best to keep 100% focus on the game at hand and not drift away in dreams of glory or what not. It's always about your one next game.

My first draw was a fellow Cygnar player, Daniel with a Haley2/Haley3 pairing. His Haley2 list was very similar to the one I took to Battle at Lund in April, meaning more melee power and less shooting presence, while his Haley3 list was the good old vanilla list from last year. I'm not comfortable with Stryker1 into Haley3 due to a lack of practice but I figured Haley2 with shooting is better than Haley2 with melee, and my Haley2 list has plenty of lightning generators to dismantle Haley3. Thus I dropped Haley2. Daniel paired his Haley2 in return and off we went!

:: Lists ::

:: Cygnar ::
TimeStorm v2
Theme: Heavy Metal
4 / 4 Free Cards 75 / 75 Army
Major Victoria Haley - WJ: +25
- Squire - PC: 0
- Firefly - PC: 8
- Thorn - PC: 13
- Stormwall - PC: 39 (Battlegroup Points Used: 25)
- Lightning Pod
Storm Strider - PC: 18
Journeyman Warcaster - PC: 0
- Charger - PC: 9
Lieutenant Allison Jakes - PC: 0
- Cyclone - PC: 13
Captain Arlan Strangewayes - PC: 0
:: Opponent ::
Haley2, HM
- Stormwall
- Thorn
- Ironclad
- Squire
- Charger
Junior
- Charger
Jakes
- Stormclad

:: Pre-Battle Thoughts & Deployment ::

The scenario was The Pit 2 and I got first turn. This is big in this matchup as pushing your colossal far up the table provides so many angles and presents the opposing Haley2 with a ton of problems. The idea was to bully him out of the center, capitalize on this and ensure that my superior shooting would make its presence felt.


:: Game ::

Stuff runs and I abuse the house to shield my things from a batshit Thorn going out on a mission.


Daniel's Junior allocates a focus to his Charger and it looks like Daniel's considering trying to start a shooting war on my Stormwall. Somewhere along the way this plan changed and said Charger ended up running. With Junior putting up Arcane Shield on the Stormwall this left him on 0 camp...


...which is too good of an opportunity to pass up. By running Thorn and casting TK on him I would be in range of Daniel's Junior with an Arcane Bolt. I based my turn around this play, intending to tear his Stormwall a new one following the demise of Arcane Shield. This all worked out tremendously with my Charger and Cyclone putting boosted pow12s to great effect into the enemy 'wall. My Stormwall then finished him off with Temporal Acceleration. I feated in case the enemy 'wall would survive, which it did not (keep in mind that Haley activated before I had shot anything so I didn't know if I could kill it off or not). The Strider casually followed up with taking out Daniel's Thorn's Arc Node.


Daniel tried to get some sort of comeback but after a fruitless turn he conceded the game, understandably.


Victory to the Swans!

:: Evaluation ::

Haley2 mirrors are crazy because of the angles and threat ranges involved. I know this from past experience and was constantly looking to both prevent angles for my opponent and take advantage of those I could find. Thorn's reach is incredible if you are willing to TK him and protecting the weaker backline elements is essential.

I'm not sure how Daniel could've approached this game differently. Had his Junior been safe I would still have taken out Thorn and possibly a Charger. At that point I'm so far ahead because suddenly my backline elements are a lot safer. Again, my shooting also a lot stronger so he has to push into me. Pushing melee pieces into Haley2 is rarely a good idea.

A great start to the Championship!