The Outpost Sheffield, 21/07/18: Tournament Report
I wanted to get me a warband and a deck that could do all three. I wanted to have my cake, eat it, and eat it again. To this end I tried to craft a versatile hybrid aggressive/objective/defensive all singing all dancing Magore’s Fiends deck. I wanted to be able to adapt to my enemies plan and try to counter it, rather than being committed to a plan of my own. I rocked up to the Outpost yesterday to work out if the new push cards in the leader expansion would allow me to achieve Supremacy more reliably and force the enemy to come to me, where my Fiends would be waiting to strike.
- Show of Strength
- Advancing Strike
- Alone in the Darkness
- Change of Tactics
- Our Only Way Out
- Precise Use of Force
- Superior Tactician
- Shining Example
- Furious Inspiration
- Great Concussion
- Hidden Paths
- Inspiration Strikes
- My Turn
- Quick Thinker
- Ready For Action
- Time Trap
- Twist the Knife
- Inspiring Command
- Quick Advance
- Trophy Hunter
- A Destiny to Meet
- Awakened Weapon
- Great Fortitude
- Great Speed
- Great Strength
- Helpful Whispers
- Incredible Strength
- Gory Visage
- Hero’s Mantle
Versus Defensive decks
As defensive decks completely cede board control, I had hoped to capitalise on this by scoring Supremacy and Our Only Way Out, on top of my passive glory. This would then let me turn Magore into a tanky, trophy hunting beast with multiple cards to give him extra attack activations. Between Great Concussion, Inspiring Command and Quick Advance I hoped I would be able to stay on objectives and burn all the push cards that defensive decks bring. This was if they realised I was going for supremacy, as in some of my practice games this had caught people off guard and earned me some free glory.
Versus Objective Decks
This very much depended on who got three objectives on their side. If I had the extra objective, my plan would be similar to the above, force the enemy player to come to me and I could earn some glory while they do so. If I had two objectives on my side, I planned to abandon the idea of getting three objectives and play aggro. I can use my pushes to get into combat and my score immediately objectives to cycle through my deck faster.
There is an issue here, I only have Twist the Knife to reach the all important four damage threshold without upgrades. This is also dependent on me inspiring Magore or Riptooth. This was a weakness in my deck that, in general, forced me to wait for glory to equip Great Strength or Incredible Strength before going in for the kill.
Versus Aggro Decks
In this matchup I had to play defensively, score some passive glory and allow my upgrades to do the work in Turn 2 and 3. If the enemy needed kills to earn glory I could force them to overextend and then pounce on the charging models to start the snowball in my direction. Once Magore or Riptooth were tooled up they could start to clean house.
If I didn’t get three objectives on my side of the board my life would get harder against the aggro decks. I could attempt to Hidden Paths to an edge hex objective in the fourth activation to get Supremacy but that would definitely be risky. I knew taking Supremacy would make these match-ups difficult, but I wanted to see if I could make it work in a warband where two of the fighters are more resistant to being knocked back.
Things did not go entirely according to the plan.
The MVP cards
A Destiny to Meet and Hero’s Mantle.
Magore surveyed the battlefield, seething with rage as the infamous farstriders approached. As he lifted his axe and prepared to release his guttural battle cry, he heard an alarm buzz in his pocket.
“Yo Korghus mah boi, what’s up??” Magore said answering the call.
“Magore, you still coming tonight? I booked one of those Tzeentch magicians to go around the tables and read people’s futures!” Korghus replied.
Magore pondered the fortune telling sorcerer. He had always wondered what his destiny would be. He looked up once more at his foes, stretched across the horizon, and sighed.
“I’ll be there buddy, you owe me a beer though,” came the reluctant response from Magore.
“Nice one! Be sure to wear that cape thing though or the bouncer won’t let you in.”
“For the last time,” Magore yelled, “it’s a Mantle!!”
Because of the lack of damage in my deck I was forced to let the enemy make the first move a lot of the time. I sat back, scored passively and waited to pounce. This resulted in games either snowballing after one kill went through or coming down to single points to determine the victor. That single point was almost always A Destiny to Meet, Hero’s Mantle, or both. I won two games off of the glory from these upgrades when my objective deck had let me down.
The Clutch Card of the Day
Ghartok ducked the creatures charge and proceeded to slash this bizarre second Riptooth, causing blood to spill from the creature’s shoulder. Behind him he saw Magore kicking up dust, revving up for a charge. He just loved to show his strength. Suddenly Riptooth seemed to get a second wind, he seemed awakened, and some rather helpful whispers emanated from above the beast’s head. Riptooth smiled menacingly.
Screw this, thought Ghartock, and carved the monster in two. Time slowed down after that, but at least he hadn’t had to deal with some roided up death puppy.
Time Trap allowed me multiple times during the day to react in the power step to my opponents plans. If someone Hidden Pathed in for an assassination attempt on Magore, I could Time Trap and immediately cut them down. Or, as happened in my first best of three, it can help you nip an impending death doggo attack in the bud. Just remember you can’t use it in your fourth activation, and you do have to skip your next turn. This isn’t always a problem if you use Time Trap well. Sometimes you’ll leave your opponent with two activations in a row with nothing useful to do.
Supremacy and Our Only Way Out
“You want me to do what!?” Zharkus exclaimed.
“Look stop arguing and just go and stand in range of that dwarf there and hold that shiny chest thing,” Magore repeated, growing exasperated.
“But I could just charge into them!!” an indignant Zharkus continued to argue.
*Several Great Concussions, Quick Advances and Distractions later*
“There, are you happy Zharkus!?” Magore scolded, “Now no one gets to have an objective, THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS!”
Magore turned and saw Riptooth panting happily over a pile of dwarf corpses.
“Pfft…why even bother,” sighed Magore.
I played 9 games, scored Our Only Way Out twice and did not once score Supremacy. Once this was because of a Great Concussion but more often than not ploys had nothing to do with it. Getting onto objectives sometimes meant putting myself in a vulnerable position in which the fighter holding the objective was likely to die. Sometimes holding three objectives was just straight up riskier than going for the kill and racking up points from score immediately cards. The only time holding three objectives felt worth the efforts was Turn 1, if I had lost the board placement roll, drawn Supremacy/Our Only Way Out, and had drawn movement ploys. I feel if you’re going to play around objectives you must commit to them completely, but even then, it just feels like you’re hanging your warband out to dry a lot of the time. I’m relatively inexperienced playing this style and trying to half-ass it didn’t work. This may be something to come back to in the future with a more carefully tailored deck.
Game Analysis: What did I learn?
Game 1: Magore on Magore Action
I had 3 nail biters at The Outpost, and my first was a mirror match against Mark. There were a couple of good points I took away from this matchup.
- Aggro on Aggro means people gonna die. You need to make sure you score more off of your kills than your opponent. I got two kills in one activation with Magore using time trap, scoring me a whole two glory. When Magore and Ghartok went down Mark had accrued 5. Make sure you’ve dug for your score immediately cards to maximise your snowball, otherwise it doesn’t matter if your dice and power cards work for you, you won’t have enough points to win.
- Time your charges well. I’m going to go over this in a considerable amount of detail in my Breaking the Bulwark series, but I’ll mention it now because unfortunately a missed charge cost Mark his third game against me. Mark had a slew of perfect ploys and objectives, all he needed was Riptooth to connect on his charge. Mark went in with his first activation and whiffed the attack. This meant I had the rest of my turn to beat up on Riptooth and set myself up for the win. It might have been worth waiting until the end of the turn to charge, just so I had less activations to land my own attacks on the Flesh Hound. If all your proverbial eggs are going into the attack dice basket, give yourself the best chance of success and minimise the consequences of failure.
I lost the first game in this series and managed to bring it back in the next two. Time trap came in clutch game two, and game three I capitalised on the failed Riptooth charge to take the series. All three were incredibly enjoyable and I felt fortunate to have walked away with the win.
Game 2: Fiends take on the Fyreslayers
This game was against Josh, a chap I had played at a previous tournament and had demonstrated at that time an incredible ability to roll (and then re-roll) double supports. This time he had brought Fyreslayers rather than Orruks, a warband he was much more familiar with. There were a couple of good takeaways from this match.
- If the game is going slow and there’s not much glory flying around, equip A Destiny to Meet. Trust me.
- Riptooth can and will miss 5 attacks in a row.
- I hate Fjul-Grimnir.
- Score immediately objectives can send you flying back into a game. I devoted a huge amount of time and resources into getting Riptooth a kill in game two, and when he was killed I Hidden Pathed in Magore to do the job. When the kill did come through it earned me 3 glory. This brought me back up to par with Josh in spite of Riptooth having a stroke somewhere around the start of turn two. If you know the plan is good don’t let the dice dissuade you from it.
Myself and Josh drew game one. We then proceeded to draw game two. We would’ve drawn game three as well if it hadn’t been for the destiny Zharkus had to meet. 1 glory separated us over three games. Josh was an incredible opponent and that series could’ve easily gone either way.
Game 3: The Rivalry Continues
Myself and Dan have met at 2 previous events, the Grand Clash (number 2) in Nottingham and at a tournament in Langley mill last month. So far we had a 1-1 record against each other, and we had been matched up in the final. Dan’s Farstriders against my Fiends.
- Don’t be afraid of the dice. In game 2 I had a win under my belt and a 4 damage trophy hunter Magore in range of Dan’s final Farstrider. Swiftblade was inspired and on guard. I had no accuracy upgrades. A kill would’ve put the game to bed, a miss could’ve cost me the game. I chose to dodge this last model for the whole of the third turn in an attempt to consolidate my glory lead. Nobody died, and Dan raked in five glory from passive objectives at the end of the turn to overtake me and steal the game. Cheeky bugger. If I had considered what objectives Dan had remaining, I would have realised that the charge was my only option to earn victory, and my odds were actually pretty good. Instead Dan’s clever play and dastardly mind games brought us to a game 3 liable to leave us both requiring resuscitation.
- If your draws aren’t going well and you don’t have the ploys or the objectives to score glory, don’t get frustrated and charge. Myself and Dan faced each other down in a final where the only glory had come from Alone in the Darkness, which we both scored on turn 2. We stuck to our guns and waited for a sensible and opportune moment to strike. For me this never came, I drew neither of my inspire ploys and couldn’t reach the damage threshold to take out a Farstrider. Fortunately, Dan had the same problem. Dan committed to killing Riptooth putting him two glory in the lead. I equipped Hero’s mantle and A Destiny to Meet, and scored Ploymaster in the third end phase. Once again one glory netted me the victory.
At the end of Game 3 I attempted to Hidden Paths and Time Trap Magore for a double hit on one of the Stormcast to score Advancing Strike. Dan used My Turn to step away after the first hit and shoot me. Dan still didn’t have the damage to finish Magore off, even on 3 health. I didn’t know this however, so I spent Dan’s fourth activation convinced I’d thrown the game. Revealing what we had scored at the end of Turn 3 was the very definition of squeeky bum time. I have to say a massive commiseration to Dan. The anxiety induced by playing against your Farstriders has taken about 5 years off of my life. The chaps a talented player and an absolute gent. Until next time.
Including Supremacy and Our Only Way Out affected how I had to go about playing the game. The ploys I had included to make scoring these objectives “reliable” took the place of more typical aggro ploys which I sorely missed in a lot of my games.
Conversely, these movement ploys did help me dodge a lot of Hidden Paths attacks that could have finished me. I also learned to play a more measured aggro game, waiting until the odds were in my favour before I attacked.
Overall, I think I learned a huge amount about playing patiently, and with a bit of tweaking I think I can make this deck more suited to that playstyle without sacrificing my one shot ability to the same degree.
Thanks again to all my incredibly tough opponents and to The Outpost for hosting an incredible event. I’m now going to have a cup of tea and a nice lie down.
After that I think I have A Destiny to Meet.