I set off to the tournament with my pick for the most Shadespire song (The Clash – London Calling) playing in my headphones. My defensive Stormcast have a good record and should do me proud again. However, people will be expecting them and there are some strong cards in the Leader pack released today that will assist any aggressive warband trying to close with me before I’m ready for them. The new boards are another wild card that could throw a spanner in the works.
The first round I played Pat’s Champions. An aggressive deck and hungry for Glory.
Pat won the choice of boards. I chose the new lightning board, Pat placed his board alongside mine and closed for the kill. Pat drew a fistfull of upgrades and never managed to get going – when the dust settled all of his Stormcast had fallen and mine stood eternal. 12-0For the second game I won the roll off, so Pat picked the lightning board. I stuck with it as well and the Mirrored City rang to the sound of hammers. My Anghared was the first victim, brutally slain by the Concealed Weapon behind her doppelgänger’s shield.
Obryn rushed in to settle the score and by the end of the third round he had single handedly vanquished the opposition. 15-5
My opponent in the second round was Almo, who was running an aggressive Fiends deck. Almo won the roll off for board placement, which was a sign of things to come. His warband raced across the board slaughtering the Stormcast Eternals who stood amongst the lightning pylons, dumbstruck by the levels of violence used against them. 2-14The second round was close fought. After winning the roll for board set up and getting my preferred lengthways set up which would allow me to wait on the far end of the lightning board and wait for them to come to me.
I drew my two turn 3 objectives, Ploymaster and 5 upgrades. By the end of the third turn we had drawn every card in our respective power and objective decks and the Stormcast had held back the red tide. 8-4We went into the third game with everything to play for. Almo won the roll off, so I reluctantly set aside my lightning board in favour of the two sets of blocked hexes from the core set. We both spent the first turn drawing power cards waiting. The second turn opened with the Fiends continuing their assault. Riptooth charged Brightshield wounding her before Steelheart charged in to slay the daemon. The third turn saw Severin and Anghared fight as a doughty pair dropping two of the red armoured champions of Khorne as they charged in one by one. Obryn travelled via Hidden Paths to reach the lone Blood Warrior at the far end of the board and smote him in a Tireless Assault leaving the Sigmarites alone. 17-5
The final was between me and Ed. We had played a couple of games on Wednesday, so I thought I knew what to expect from his Fiends. I was mistaken.I won the roll off for board placement and set up behind the lightning pylons to await the onslaught, but the onslaught never came. Ed and I drew cards and exchanged ploys. At the back end of the third turn Obryn used his Hidden Paths to attempt to assault one of the Blood Warriors, but failed to land a meaningful blow and the berserker retreated. 9-8The second game was a rerun of the first. Both sides drawing cards and scoring passive objectives. This time Obryn travelled his well trodden, but still apparently Hidden Paths at the end of the second turn. In the end phase he acquired an Awakened Weapon, dug deep into his reserves for Heroic Might and Incredible Strength and listened to the Helpful Whispers. At the top of turn 3 he charged Riptooth, who avoid him with Quick Thinker and then through a series of Distractions, including a Great Concussion Obryn found himself staggering back into friendly territory. 14-12
I won the tournament and my second Shadeglass trophy, but it was a close run thing.The first game of my second round I was caught on the hop. Almo was on top of me very quickly and kept the pressure on, preventing me from scoring any passive objectives and preventing my counterattack as well. The second game in that round I won only because I got to place the boards, that gave me the time to gear up, ready for battle. Such that when Magore charged in alone all three Stormcast were able to congregate to face him together.Playing against Ed’s defensive Fiends caught me on the hop. My game plan is to wait out the first turn then pick my battles in the second and third turns. But this plan relies on the opposition putting in the effort to come to me. On this occasion I was able to outscore him in both game, largely due to a greater familiarity with the play style. In a rematch I would not like to bet on the outcome being the same.
My verdict on the new boards is that they open some new tactical options. My favourite devious trick of the tournament was witnessing Riptooth pouncing through a lethal hex to reflect the damage onto an injured opponent, finishing them off. The leader cards offer something for everyone, but nothing that I think will upend the meta.