A Grand Clash with Steel City – Day 1 of 2

Steel City, assemble.

Intro – Mike

This is the first in a two part article detailing Steel City’s exploits at the recent Warhammer World Grand clash. The normal Steel City team is technically myself (Mike Carlin aka grand troll supreme), Tom Bond, Freya Milligan and a stray Hobbit that seems to have escaped to Australia. For this event Tom’s brother Oli (our official mascot), Martin Collins and Danial Hasam were being treated as part of our ‘official’ team due to all being long term practice partners, locals to the Steel City and generally decent people. This article is going to be a crazy collab article where all of us bar Danial are going to pitch in and try to share our experiences of the event. To help avoid confusion about who is writing what bit every title segment will have a tag after it, just like above, with the name of the author. We are all going to be jumping in to other people’s writing in a desperate effort to appear funny and down with the bantz, so if you see something in bolded brackets that will also have a tag letting you know who wrote it, normal brackets just treat like the author of the segment wrote it. 

Confused?

Good.

Before the Event – Freya

The boys and I booked into an AirBnB for Friday and Saturday night. This was pretty cool as it meant we could hang out and chill the night before the event, and then again after day 1. Martin popped over on the Friday night too, and we had a good time playing some boardgames and chatting about what we expected from the coming days.

“I don’t feel so good” – Oli, shortly before dissolving into the Nottingham sunlight.

The AirBnB was in a good place both for getting to Warhammer World using Nottingham’s tram system (which makes Sheffield’s look antiquated in comparison) and grabbing early morning coffee from the Costa downstairs, so despite an early start on Saturday we were able to make it to the venue awake and on time.

Tournament Organisation and Structure – Mike

Game Workshop heard the fans and this was the first ever two day grand clash for Warhammer Underworlds. The format was 5 rounds of swiss with a cut to top 16 who would play a tournament on the second day. This means that we would have a ‘proper’ grand clash winner for the first time with no players left being undefeated but having bad tiebreakers leading to them not being allowed in the final. I am honestly super happy with the format overall and think it is a great step in the right direction for the game. The event also used the BCP app for all the pairings on the first day and the TO (tournament organiser) sent out an email 2 days before event start to let everyone know BCP would be being used to help us all get ready and reduce registration time. 

BCP has a whole bunch of advantages over previous systems, one of the best is that we as a community have much more data on how players and warbands are performing. If anyone is interested in a statistical breakdown of the tournament then I recommend going to Wigglehammers article on the subject over here. BCP also lets the players know their placing and pairings very easily and we can see results come in live, making the whole day much more exciting. In the past I have been frustrated over how BCP pairs players but something seems to have changed and they seem to have got it sorted. So hats off to its use here.

I also want to give a specific shout out to the tournament organiser Steve (unfortunately I do not know his surname), he not only did a fantastic job at keeping the event running smoothly but also went out of his way to ensure everyone played the game as correctly as possible. In one of the games I played there was a rules query and I was confident that he had made the wrong ruling but was obviously happy to go along with it as he is a judge, after the match he had found one of the game developers to question the interaction and then went and found me in the bar to tell me that I was right and for future matches to play it the way I had originally thought. He didn’t need to do that but it made my day much more enjoyable.

The Players and their decks

Freya Milligan

I’d dropped out of the game for various personal reasons for a while, only getting back into it for the May Grand Clashes where I played my trusty Cursebreakers. In both events I went 2-2 and learned a couple of main things – firstly, that I should have spent more than like 5 seconds looking at what the new warbands did, and secondly that even when I knew how Ylthari’s Guardians played my deck was extremely poorly built to play against them.

I decided to stick to my guns for this event, rather than learn a new warband, and after a bunch of testing with the rest of the Steel City team I made a few changes to try and improve some of the matchups I was having problems with. Alone in the Darkness went out, because everyone plays around it these days when they’re not trying to score it themselves, and Ready for Action went in so I could do a better job of following up when I needed to be aggressive (for example against Guardians).

With the release of Power Unbound I also replaced Distraction with Seggut’s Salvo, trading the unrestricted push for an extra source of damage and a 6th spell for Magical Storm, and put in Shortcut and Focal Formation so that I didn’t need Calculated Risk as a passive score immediately. 

The latest errata did hurt the deck, making Magical Storm a lot less easy to achieve with the Empower restrictions and really weakening gambit spells with the line of sight changes, but overall it didn’t change things too much – 6 gambit spells means you still have a good chance of getting spell objectives off, even when still scoring Keep Them Guessing. Confirming that the misprinted Katophrane Tomes count for Acolyte also meant that I could run slightly more useful tomes and replace the now restricted Tome of Offerings.

I’m not totally sold on Shortcut, as it adds pressure to use your teleport ploys when it might not be the best time otherwise, and I think I probably should have replaced Master of War after dropping to only 4 ploys. Otherwise, though, I was pretty happy with how it performed.

Pictured: a deck that’s as stand-offish and defensive as I am.

Pros

  • Has a lot of easy to score and hard to disrupt objectives that don’t ask too much from you
  • 4 innate or result-changing spell upgrades means you can easily cast 1 and 2 channel spells, even if Stormsire is dead or hiding
  • Can be surprisingly aggressive with Ammis and Rastus inspired and all the damaging gambit spells
  • Good match-ups against hordes, other defensive decks, and low range/movement aggro decks

Cons

  • Just completely folds to certain aggro builds 
  • Stormsire never hits with spell attacks
  • Everyone hates defensive play so you’re basically the heel (Seriously the saddest and truest part of Underworlds, please pack mobility if you’re an aggro player – Tom)

Tom Bond

My Godsworn Hunt deck has seen some pretty significant changes with the release of Power Unbound. Some of these were for the better, others I’m not so sure on. The deck relies on scoring early glory, picking your champion from the myriad of menacing marauders you bring to the table, and then sending them flying at whichever model on the enemy team you’ve decreed shouldn’t be allowed on the board.

The change that worked best for me was the removal of Superior Tactician in favour of Combination Strike. Whilst Superior Tactician is a strong card and probably slightly better in my deck then Combination Strikes it’s removal freed up a restricted slot. This meant the main benefit of the change was seen in my Gambits, as I now had a restricted slot for Twist the Knife. This gave me oodles of damage and accuracy boosts in my power deck. 

Spoils of Battle is a contentious card for me. I played for 2 weeks without it, enjoying 80% of the games and bricking hard in 20%. Due to the 1 in 5 games or so that Spoils of Battle came up trumps, I put it back into my deck at the cost of Improvisation. Spoils really came into its own against defensive opponents when your objective hand is far more likely to struggle. The loss of Improvisation was keenly felt on the day however. Matchups can be decided by how quickly you get your mobility cards, and Improvisation is a great way of digging to them.

Power Unbound added A Worthy Kill to my deck, a direct upgrade from A Worthy Deed. It also added Upper Hand (cause it’s incredible), Inspired Attack (cause it’s incredible), Prized Vendetta (Fuelled by Fury on an upgrade) and Spiritbond (Ollo is now a tank). The other main addition was Crown of Avarice (with the FAQ change I had been banging on about how powerful this card was to everyone in the team – Mike), which is a card that is difficult to analyse. Sometimes it nets you a +2 glory swing, and other times it forces your opponent to ignore the fighter you equip it to. Both of these outcomes are good for you. The issue is if you draw the card when there are no obvious targets for your opponent, it kinda does nothing.

Pros

  • You don’t (often) miss attacks
  • You’re attacks hit like a truck
  • People still don’t know what Godsworn Hunt do

Cons

  • Can get swept early by very aggressive opponents
  • Individual fighters die following a stern look from Mollog
  • Combo reliant, you need a good setup Turn 1

Overall I’m very happy with how the deck played, but I still think there’s room for improvement.

Oliver Bond

Hey all. This is my first time writing for the Steel City so please go easy on me, also my spelling is appalling so please ignore the plethora of errors to follow (I think me and Tom caught them all in the edit – Mike). Anyway, without further ado, let’s get into the Tryads deck list! (get it it’s like dryads, but also the Triad. It’s a pun. Hey I’m ‘trying’ alright. See did it again. Sorry I’ll stop now.)

Choosing a warband and preliminary deck building

O.K. so I have not played competitively since the glory days of defensive Steelhearts were in full swing, and everyone was raging about Quick Thinker instead of running more mobility, so I was a little out of practice. In Q1/ early Q2 I had some experience playing a fun aggro Stormsire’s decklist, but for this 2 day event I wanted to try something shiny new and fun, so I picked guardians. Apparently they are an S tier warband, I found this out on the Saturday of the tournament.

When I make a deck (especially when I have 150 odd cards and a whole board I had never seen before), I go through every card in play and ask myself ‘could this be useful?’. If the answer to this is ‘yes’, or ‘potentially’ I will short list it. This gives me something crazy like a 120 card deck, which one day I really want to try. From here I then look through tournament reports and top 5 decks, to get a feel for how the warband can be built, and to get an idea of the general consensus of the must have cards. Then I look back through the deck with a realistic eye, and remove the pipe dreams, as well as the less optimal cards. This will normally lead to a deck that is around 60 cards or so, leaving a solid base to build from afterwards.

Fine tuning and the final deck

As you probably guessed the next stage is cutting the deck down to 20 cards (not that i disagree with 22 or 24 card deck if they are built to not have key cards but rather core sets, but this is a combo deck, that needs to be built lean). This was done with more thinking and play testing, allowing me to find out which ideas were unrealistic, which were unreliable and what actually worked. A good example of this is the cut of scorched earth. It’s a solid objective that I defended (Yes Tom you were right from the start, sorry for the sass), but in practice games more often than not it stopped my snowball dead. This is where having a solid practice group really comes up trumps. I went from never having played the Guardians on the Tuesday before the tournament, to a refined deck list and experience playing the warband into some of the countries finest players.

I love this approach to deck building – starting off with all the possible options and then streamlining the deck is a really great idea.. Interestingly, Oli was actually in the minority of Guardians players with a 20 card deck – most had 22 or 24. – Freya

The final deck is as above. As you can see it is built around a base of score immediatelys, that revolve around an aggressive playstyle, with me charging, casting and killing to score the likes of Song of Hatred, Strike Swiftly and Change of Tactics. These then combo into extra end of turn glory from Escalation, Solid Gains and Victory After Victory. Finally built next to the core is a couple of more reliable defensive options in Calculated Risk and Reclaim the Lamentari, as well as Lithe Spirits (with the amount of reactions in both ploys and equips this was pretty free however you slice it).

With the aggressive combo focused objective deck, as mentioned above, my gambit deck needed to be lean with enablers. This means ping damage. I have 3 spells to deal 1 damage each, allowing me to more reliably get those turn 1 kills and score some tasty points. Hidden paths is a must for any aggro deck, you NEED access to there back line (the easy kills are there!) Last chance, Rebound and Ready for Action don’t really need explaining. We know how clutch they can come up, especially in a best of three(gonna take this chance to say I hate Rebound with a passion. I do not think it is healthy. I do not think it is fun. I think that as long as it exists there will never be a meta it is not a strong card). Finally Upper Hand was a last minute addition, as I finished a practice session Thursday night losing every game having missed everything. I needed accuracy, turns out this is pretty much the best in the game for it after the tourney ruling (it was ruled to work on 0-0 ties – Mike), plus its is yet another reaction for Lithe Spirits, so yay! 

Finally the upgrade deck. As per, this was designed to enable my objective deck. Two damage bonuses allow me to more easily cut down targets, with Glory Seeker giving Ylthari the ability to pop off. This was especially true with the addition of Well of Power, meaning that she became a 3 range, 3 swirly (Jesus Oli it’s a focus – Tom) 3 damage beast. The potions provided more reactions, as well as accuracy and survivability. The two bigger talking points here are Crown of Avarice and Spitethorn Arrow. Crown may look defensive, but it is truly the perfect aggro enabler. As spoken about above, you can charge in for a kill then equip this. It forces the opponent into bad choices, either giving you glory, enabling Escalation and Solid Gains; or they leave the fighter alive and give them the opportunity to impact the game further. Spitethorn was taken for two reasons. First it’s easy to score death from afar against hordes, second is to combat tome fanatics with their many dodge dice. This passes straight through dodges allowing your spells to finish the job.

Final thoughts

Overall im really happy with the deck, obviously I was blown away by its performance, but that does not make it perfect. Against 4 health warbands it struggles. Alot. It either needs more damage, more accuracy, or replacements for the objectives that require kills. I found myself stuck at 4 glory too often. That said Upper Hand and Crown need a big shout out. They turned games (it’s nice to know that my mad ravings can be useful to the team – Mike). Also I think Duel of Wits deserves the most honourable of mentions. I love this card (possibly a little too much) and think it deserves consideration in every deck. In this tournament it found me lethal ping damage, rebound or last chance so many times as the opponent tooled up for a kill. It won me at least two games straight up.  

Martin Collins

Hi there my name is Martin Collins and my claim to Underworlds glory is that I won the 2018 Games Expo Grand Clash with Fjul-Grimnir and his scantily clad cohort. I’m also involved in organising regular Underworlds meet ups in Sheffield (Read: Tags lots of people on Facebook to get them to show up).

I picked Thundriks as they are very versatile, making them fun to play, and I was expecting lots of Cursebreakers, Ylthari and Mollog. I believed that Thundrik would give me an advantage in these match ups. There was also the fact that I thought it would be cool if I did manage to win the trophy with the next wave of Duardin.

One of the most important things I find with any Grand Clash is making sure you get plenty of practice games in to understand your deck. If you have ever seen Team America World Police then think of it as your ‘I need a montage’ moment. My learnings from the practice games were,

1) Thundriks need to inspire quickly to be survivable and start kicking out damage so you need to maximise the number of score immediatelies in your deck build.

2) Michael quickly showed me in the practice games that Mollog wasn’t the great match up I thought it was and that Duardin Resilience is really vital for hanging in there. Particularly if you can save it until you see your opponent play fueled by fury or a similar buff that would end up being wasted.  

3) In my final deck you will see I have no round three objectives, in practicing I found that they kept being drawn too early which would hold me up on getting inspired. I also kept drawing Superior Tactician, Combination Strike and Victory After Victory in my opening hand and feeling like I couldn’t discard all that glory but would waste activation’s discarding them to try and get something I can score. The four 2 glory objectives I have can potentially be scored in any turn and if your opening hand is three of them then 100% discard it and know that you have at least one 2 glory card left.

4) I appreciate the meta is not objective based but make sure you have some anti-objective tech so you don’t encounter the horror of goblins madly scurrying onto more objectives than you can hit them off. Mischievous Spirits in my humble opinion is the best anti hold objective card at the moment.

5) Keep Them Guessing is a popular card for Thundriks as they have lots of ways of pulling it off, however I am not personally a fan. As if you draw into it during a turn then it may be a dead card based on your initial activations and because it directs you on how you have to play – often I want to attempt that extra attack, not mess around making sure someone goes on guard and so on.

Martin kept doing this “brap brap pew pew” thing complete with finger guns when he was talking about his deck, and for some reason this just cracked me up every time – we were clearly playing too many games on too little sleep. – Freya

Mollog’s Moist Pit – Mike

Well well well. How the turn tables

I have a mild reputation in the community for playing flex defensive/control decks (*distant booing*). Lots of players hate the defensive style of play which honestly encourages me to play it as I can get free wins against salty/bad opponents (I don’t have a reputation for diplomacy). A quick glance will tell you that this deck does not partake in the ‘passive’ style of play. Oh no. This Mollog is built to kill and kill fast. With the release of Power Unbound I think that Mollog gained the most out of any warband. While the genius players on Facebook were all crying about Cursebreakers being broken overpowered I was looking at cards like Upper Hand, Spirit Bond and Blazing Soul thinking that they were absurdly strong on the big troll. Anyone who has played Mollog knows that his two biggest issues are accuracy and making sure he inspires. Well these cards certainly help with that. I decided against the more defensive playstyle that I had popularised with Troll Tomes as I know ‘good’ aggro can reliably kill Mollog fast. I didn’t want to play the game of desperately hoping my opponent didn’t have Ready for Action while hiding at the back. 

So I went all in. 

This deck is agro through and through. However there are some subtleties to how it plays. Only 2 of my objectives actually rely on kills with a third requiring a charge. My general playstyle is to charge in rounds 1 and 2 while trying to kill priority targets and then use my ludicrous amount of mobility cards to run away before they can kill the troll back. Illusory Fighter is your best friend here. If I had that card in hand my odds of winning a game went up like 20%. In fact for this deck I’d rate Illusory Fighter higher than Ready for Action, it’s that good.

The downside to this deck is that I need a big glory buffer to beat people running strong turn 3 objectives. That or to try and deny those objectives from scoring, positioning to deny Denial or killing Tome bearers to deny Acolyte. The other downside is that despite all the cards I had trying to rig the dice as much as I could I was still going to live or die by dice rolls, especially the dreaded Rebound. 

Grand Clash: Day 1

Tom 

Round 1 vs Oliver Brookes (Thorns of the Briar Queen)

Oliver (who finished 3rd overall at the clash) had encountered my Godsworn before, unhelpfully denying me a trophy using Tome of Offerings on Stormsire to start a spell flinging fusillade. Seeing Oliver rocking up today with Thorns I have to say I was a little relieved. I’d played 2 Best of 3’s against Thorns at UKGE and reckoned I had a good handle on the matchup. Game 1 played about as perfectly as my deck could have. I rolled all the dice, comboed all the objectives and won 20-0 in game 1. This was almost entirely due to Oli intelligently realising the game was done after my silly good Turn 1, and opting to hide his objective deck from me for the rest of the game and not score anything. I’ll still pretend the 20-0 was due to excellent play however.

Game 2 was a much closer affair. I didn’t get the cards to combo into an early Briar Queen kill as I had done Game 1, which meant the sorcerous spectre was free to start picking through my backline. Sudden Appearance, Acrobatic and Deathly Fortitude gave the Briar Queen a significant amount of staying power. I diligently ploughed into the Chainrasps and Varclav regardless, knowing that the majority of Olly’s glory was going to come from there. After the dust settled, I managed to score A Worthy Kill on the Briar Queen and disrupt enough objectives to squeeze in a close 18-16 win for me.

Result: 2-0 win

Lesson: Any 2 range 3 damage fighter is an absolute terror for Godsworn (or any horde warband). Respect these fighters, but don’t let them distract you from denying your opponents glory. If you spend 4 activations on the Briar Queen and allow space for Varclav to churn through his objective deck you’re going to fall behind fast. Respect the Queen, deny Varclav, beat Thorns.

Round 2 vs. Jaroslaw Dybal (Stormsire’s Cursebreakers)

After avoiding Cursebreakers and Mollog’s Mob for 5 straight grand clash Best of 3’s, my streak was at an end. Thanks to Freya and Mike’s (usually) defensive dispositions however, this kind of matchup was one I felt comfortable playing into. Game 1 was a long board setup, and turn one saw me scoring Calculated Risk and Change of Tactics, comboing into Combination Strike and Master of War. After having successfully out-passived Cursbreakers the game remained cagey, as I waited to see if Jaroslaw could actually score if I didn’t engage. The truce lasted until Turn 3, at which point I had stacked upgrades and was confident I could score A Worthy Kill and cement a victory.

Game 2 was a similar affair. The glory difference wasn’t particularly high, but in general Cursebreakers (with the empower nerfs) do rely on being engaged on if they don’t draw Keep Them Guessing. If you are conscious of Alone in the Darkness, you can sometimes force your opponent’s hand and make them come to you.

Result: 2-0 win

Lesson: Recognise how your opponent comes back into a game when you have a lead. This may mean letting Cursebreakers sit at the back, so you are out of range of Change of Tactics, What Armour?, Measured Strike and other such cards. Make sure aggressive plays will cement a victory rather than cost you one.

Round 3 vs. Neil Snowball-Hill (Mollog’s Mob)

Having spent a few weeks practicing into Mike’s newfound aggressive Mollog build, I opted for a 3 hex offset board for my initial game into Neil. He then deployed Mollog at the back and I knew I was in for the infamous defensive Mollog variant. I was unable to close the gap I had foolishly made for myself, and ended up losing game 1 to some considered play from Neil. Game 2 the board was set square on and I felt much more in with a chance. I can’t remember how exactly Mollog went down, I just know that when he did he had about 4 tomes on him, limiting the payout from Acolyte of the Katophranes at the end of the game. Managing to combo a Worthy Kill with slaying Mollog made this a significant glory swing in my favour, and I was able to pull out a win.

Neil cleverly realised this in Game 3, and sent Mollog on a warpath sans Tomes. Batsquig took up librarian duty and I had to make a choice of targets. In the end Mollog baited me in and I killed him (not scoring A Worthy Kill). This left the Tomes up on the Batsquig but prevented Mollog from chewing through my fighters. Fortunately I had managed to secure an 8 glory lead through the course of this game, as Neil managed to squeeze out this exact amount of glory at the end of round 3. I won on tiebreakers, as squigs can’t hold objectives, and I made it through to Round 4 with a win against Cursebreakers and Mollog now under my belt.

The shellshock from such a tense Best of 3 meant I had difficulty finding my table. Fortunately (unfortunately)  I had a familiar face to guide me to my seat opposite him.

Seriously. Tom basically staggered into Bugman’s after this match and stood next to our table looking around forlornly for the rest of the team despite the fact we were right next to him. – Freya

Result: 2-1 win

Lesson: Be aware of the Tomes. If Mollog does not have Offerings equipped he will not generate as much glory as a well-read Batsquig. Additionally be aware of Healing Potion, the existence of this card in Neils deck meant I couldn’t reliably stack damage onto Mollog. I had to Ready for Action combo Mollog down, or else make sure i hit for at least 4 damage with any attack.

Round 4 vs Michael Carlin (Mollog’s Mob)

Well i was nothing if not practiced into this particular matchup. Unfortunately the exact same could be said of Mike. It had got to the stage where during practice sessions at The Outpost myself and Mike were helping choose the optimum boards for each other. Mike helped me submit my decklist from memory alone. Mike knew Grundann inspired to 5 move. My biggest power play was gone.

The matchup hinged on how much of my warband Mike could kill before I accrued the necessary combo to kill Mollog. This combo was much easier if Jagathra landed her Javelin attack on Mollog as Mike wasn’t running Healing Potion. Game 1 my cards came out like a dream, I always had an accuracy boost in hand which meant every attack landed. Mike was forced to come into range and I whittled him down before moving onto the squigs. As Mike didn’t get Illusory Fighter or Commanding Stride he wasn’t able to control the engagement, and Mollog got Mobbed. To add insult to injury I landed a 2 hammer unbuffed attack at the end of the game against a Batsquig inspired and on-guard (whats even more depressing is that the Bat Squig was about to get me 8 glory – Mike).

This put the pressure on for Game 2. Mikes opening was cagey, an early guard token on Mollog signalled a charge would be coming later in the round. I had a glory (I think from Calculated Risk or Martyred, thanks Grawl) and I had Ready for Action in hand. Jagathra landed her Javelin with the help of Fuelled by Fury. When Mollog ran into 5 hex range I inspired Shond with Sprinter, and got a surprise charge off on the Troggoth. I landed the attack, dealing two damage and scoring What Armour?. The second gory was used to equip Gloryseeker, and Ready for Action went down. The third attack cleaved Mollog from the game. If any one of those attacks had missed Mollog would not have died, and whilst each attack was odds on, succeeding on them all was not. Even so the opportunity cost was low and the payoff if the double hit succeeded was a win. With such an evenly matched pair of warbands it really did come down to dice, and I got the better of them in this set.  I managed to take down the second Mollog of the day, and it only almost cost me my position on the blog (you’re on probation – Mike). Game 5 saw me risking interblog relations yet again as day 1 became officially known as Steel City Suicide (you’ve got more to worry about from me, seeing as I’m the admin – Freya).

Result: 2-0 win

Lesson: Try to evaluate risk versus reward. In my Cursebreaker game, going aggressive saw me potentially losing more from failure than I would gain from success. In this matchup, risks that could result in killing Mollog are much more acceptable A successful attack won me the game, and a failed attack would have just cost me Shond (perhaps not even that!).

Game 5 vs Freya Milligan (Stormsire’s Cursebreaker’s)

Despite playing very little Underworlds during the Nightvault season, Freya has always been an exemplary control player. Regularly inducing copious amounts of salt from anyone not running Spectral Wings and Hidden Paths, Freya has ensured (at least in our local meta) that greedy aggro is punished and that mobility cards are much more viable. I have managed (by playing predominantly Fiends, Bloodreavers and Godsworn) to close the distance with Freya’s more defensive decks, however the Nightvault cards have offered her a more punishing counter attack should my assault be poorly considered.

Game 1 I fell prey to the counter. The board was offset, and Freya smartly covered Faneway portals (some people call these objective tokens) to limit my access to her models. The game was only remotely close because Stormsire’s Hidden Paths attack onto Grawl with Potion of Rage was defended. Even with that ridiculous rolling, Freya had separated and dismantled my Godsworn, meaning I couldn’t get in range of Rastus and his Tomes at the end of the game.

Game 2 I got boards. In every game across this tournament that I got board selection into Cursebreaker I had wiped the warband by Turn 2. I genuinely think this is a good matchup for Godsworn, and the Cursebreaker player has to either successfully dodge a very mobile warband or manage to trade 1 fighter for 2 constantly. Grundann, Shond and Theddra all got stuck in with damage buffs and re-rolls coming out of their ears. I never missed and dealt 4 damage consistently.

Game 3 Freya got boards and set up long. I had to be careful, as every mobility card I used needed to net me a kill. I carefully advanced, content to fall behind early as long as I could get as much of my warband in range. Freya dodged Jagathras Change of Tactics, but in doing so had to move off of an objective to get out of charge range. This meant I could Faneway Crystal Grundann in, scoring Change of Tactics with the big axe wielder instead, and also netting a kill. That was the breaking point for the game, and ultimately earned me the 2-1 win. Aggro versus control often swings on a single kill, and huge numbers of cards now exist to stack the dice in favour of the aggro player. What you need is a way to close the distance.

Result: 2-1 win

Lesson: Do not waste mobility gambits. If you throw a fighter in and they die, not only is that fighter gone but so is your way into the fight. You’re now going to find it much harder to bring your second damage dealer in. Advance carefully, make sure you have passive glory, and strike when the time is right.

Also, don’t forget that Faneway Crystal is a card that exists just because it’s your 11th game of the day. Especially if you’re running it in your own deck. I’d convinced myself that there was no way that Tom could charge me after I moved away from Jagathra, despite having 2 fighters next to an objective token… – Freya

Day 1

Finally I’d faced down both Mollog and Stormsire at a clash. Even more surprisingly, I’d clinched the top spot after day 1. After an absolutely insane day of games I was ready for bed. The Q&A plus pub quiz put on by the design team was excellent, with the say what you see round demonstrating the highest level of trolling I have seen since Mike’s Tome deck. Making it to day 2 had been a hopeful aim for this clash, so I went home over the moon with all of our results. Shout out to our captain Mike, who fell so that the rest of us could continue on the Path to Glory. RIP.

Oli

Game 1 vs Tom Bell (The Farstriders)

What happened game 1 Oli? I don’t like to think about, let alone write about it, but here goes. The game opens up with a fairly aggressive set up on Tom’s part, while I opted for a more mid range approach, to offer some safety, while allowing me to push in for damage if needed. The game started with his first move, a charge into Gallanghann with swiftblade. Three swords into two shields. Easy 2 damage right? That plus Shardgale and Encroaching Shadow lead to a quick kill from the off. This combined with my faction now being at two heath facing what was clearly an extremely aggressive list packing lots of extra ping damage really tells the tale of this game. I missed attacks back, and failed to get kills reliably. Fortunately for me however Tom decided the grand clash wasnt hard enough to start with, and decided to run a Kataphrane Relic deck meaning that despite a turn 2 wipe, he barely breached 10 glory.

The second round was practically an exact mirror of the first. Another lucky first round hit into Gallanghann with Shardgale and Raptor Strike, sent me reeling from the off. This time I got some damage back, but the dice gods are fickle and this game I was cast out of their warm embrace. Cold and alone I cut down Farstrider before the game was out, but again I was cut back in culling that would bring a tear to Bob Ross’ eye. There were no happy trees here. 

Result – 2-0 Loss (21-8)

Lessons – In all seriousness I learnt a lot from this game on how to time attacks on higher health warbands, and the need for patience until I have more guaranteed damage. Am I salty about how the dice fell? Hell yes, however what really hurt me was the knowledge that in such a low scoring game, waiting for Upper hand, or Potion of Rage, could have easily swung the series and allowed me to pick up the W. Also want to say Credit to Tom, maybe I’m wrong but playing with Relics after the changes seems like playing in Dante Must Die Difficulty yet he still put up an incredibly good tournament finishing 3-2, with his losses being handed to him by Steel City’s very own Freya and Martin.

Game 2 – Peter Allan (Thundricks Profiteers)

I’m going to be completely honest I remember next to nothing of this game. Please forgive me, I’m kinda new to this. What I remember is game one was a stomp, and game two was a hella close match that ended up with me winning from him mistakenly killing the Crown of Avarice bearer at the end netting me the glory for Solid Gains into Superior Tactician, for a 1 point win.

Result – 2-0 Win (34-20)

Lessons – Take some mental notes! You might be unexpectedly asked to write a blog post and have to write out what happened in interesting detail. 

Seriously though, remember the crown. It’s not just for 1 round, it will be there still at the end of the game. This may be an extreme example, but it can swing a close game, and in a competitive match your not going to get reminded its there.

Game 3 – Sean Wheeliker

This was a very one sided set. Sean was playing what I think was an aggressive skaven list that tooled up Lurking and then resurrected him for kills. Going into the game I was unsure what kind of list was being ran so again I played a safe mid range setup, weary of skritch making some crazy cross map plays leading to an early kill onto Ylthari, Ahnslane or Skhathael. I drew and scored some easy glory before going in for some of the juicy rat meat being offered to me. This was a bit of a blood bath, and my objective deck rolled out as well as I could dream. I’m pretty sure I was just holding Superior Tactician in turn 3.

Game 2 was a bit closer, but never out of control. Again I opted for a mid range set up, as very little of Seans list was revealed from the first game. The first round ended with little action, and with both sides scoring a few passive glories. This game my objectives didn’t come out particularly well. Having drawn an early pick up of Victory into Victory and Superior Tactician my deck had little to offer in terms of high scorers, preventing me from ending with a great score. In all honesty, not much happened in game two and I finished with a comfortable win. I still am unsure how my opponents deck was supposed to play, as it didn’t have the opportunity to do too much.

Result – 2-0 win (33-7)

Lessons – The snowball can be real, or it could be that fake snow that never seems to settle, leaving everyone involved a little underwhelmed. Both games were one sided, yet my glory was not at all consistent, meaning there are still problems in my deck to be ironed out. The point of this deck was to easily chain objectives into each other. Here I found out that a poor draw round one, followed by some of the harder objectives (Song of Hatred with no spells, or death from afar without ping damage) can cause my deck to halt.

Game 4 – Dan Smedley (Zarbags’s Gitz)

This match was the highlight of day one. A close match up into a great opponent. Game 1 started out very well. Some lucky crit rolls and good objective ordering netted me a lot of glory in phase 1. Meanwhile the dice had abandoned Dan as Snirk Shadowed Stepped next to two of my fighters, and then missed spectacularly. On the bright side he landed on an objective and denied me Reclaim the Lamentiri. As the second phase rolled on we saw the gobbo hack down a few good trees, while taking some losses back. After a second poor performance from Snirk in phase 1 (he managed one damage this time!), Ahnslaine Ready For Action’d the Spitethorn Arrow, and finished the fanatic that had taken a spell hit in the previous turn. Into the final round I still held a commanding lead and with two Tryads up versus a couple of goblins and a squig I was feeling pretty good about myself. Then the keys happened. I realised that to win I needed Gallanghan to make a two hammer attack against a supported, double dodge zarbag; this was down to Dans perfect positioning, giving him the 60% edge. That was all he needed and after trailing all game, a 10 point swing for the grotz took game one. 

Going into game two I was wary of how despite some excellent dice in critical attacks I still lost the game. I was also keenly aware here that dropping this game would make a top 16 finish impossible. However I had learnt my lessons and remained mindful of how powerful objectives and keys were in this match. This game I decided to go all in, knowing how an early snowball was the only way I could out point Dans powerhouse glory potential. Again this game started with some great rolling bringing me to an early lead, this time however I was focused and denying the objectives from the Gitz. Having got a lot of kills racked up and well as destroying or taking most of the objectives, meant that I took game 2 with a sizable glory difference.

Game 3 was a worthy final slog. After a rough second game the gobbos deployed in a way that meant they could brawl much better. The game was a series of punches back and forth which ended up lasting well into overtime. By this point I was fairly tired and I’m a little hazy as to what exactly happened. I know it was close, I remember people watching. I’m pretty sure Crown of Avarice put up another stunner, and that rebound did some bullsh*t in my favour. In the end when the smoke cleared Zarbag’ Gitz did not hold any objectives to give the final push they needed, and I landed a second win.

Result – 2-1 win (56-37)

Lessons – First up I learnt Dan plays a solid game, and is stand up chap. In the game I learnt to be mindful of the deck that you’re playing against. I should have known the Gitz were running keys, and focused on denying that from the start. What could have been a hard fought 2-0 turned into a marathon 2-1 that left me wanting a pint (that I didn’t have time for after such a long match).

Game 5 – Matthew Bancroft (Ylthari’s Guardians)

Waiting for the Best Coast pairing for this final match of the day was painful. Rocking a 3-1 record going into the final round bracketed me against some real titans, including Mike and Martin (Spoilers). None of whom I wanted anything to do with at this point. As Matthew’s name came up I breathed a sigh of relief, until I saw it was a mirror match. This worried me. As I mentioned earlier, I have very little experience playing Guardians (in fact I had already played more games in this tournament than out of it) so in theory I was starting on the back foot.

Both of us started deploying a defensive style, ready to feel each other out, but the game fell largely in my favour. Mattew suffered some of the worst rolling I have ever seen at a tournament (although back when I played defensive Steelheart’s far less dice were rolled). The games were over pretty quick with two decisive victories on my part.

Having the time and opportunity at the end we both compared decks, and found them to be very similar. In fact if it had been placed next to the deck I ran on the Thursday (before practice) they would have had maybe 2 cards different. Being able to have a chat and give some advice on what I thought was good, as well as some of the stronger ideas from his deck (I wish I took Spiritbond) was a great experience.

Result – 2-0 Win (32-6)

Lessons – This game was another reminder that as much as we talk of careful deck construction and risk elimination, we still play a dice game and sometimes, that’s how the game is decided. Luckily this time it came in my favour, but bad dice do lose games. 

Having said that though I think this match showed me how useful practice really is. As I said, Matthew’s deck was close to an earlier incarnation of my own. Having the time to test the strength of the deck allowed me to tune my deck up, and I feel this did play a part. 

Aftershow and Afterthoughts

What a day 1 that was. I came out hoping to secure a couple of wins, and took an army I’d enjoy losing with. Somehow though I came out with an astonishing 4-1 record, securing a day two spot in the top 16. More importantly my deck is now on Underworlds DB, so there’s a small personal dream accomplished! (I heard MS paint is a tradition) (Oli got confused here and didn’t realise that we are all actually professional Photoshop experts – Mike | actually, I use GIMP – Freya)

Now having the opportunity we learnt bugman makes several excellent beers (I think Mike had drank about 6 by this point – Freya), as well as a very filling burger. We learnt that GW staff care. There Q and A really showed that. It was great that they answered our questions, but this session really reflected some of their passion, and while I don’t agree with everything they said, you can tell they want to make a truly competitive game.

The pub quiz was much fun, with many baits. We learnt the hard way that Hakka carries Choppas into battle rather than a Choppa, and pondered our existence while staring at a picture of Bob Ross with a spiral on it. Overall it was a solid night which ended in us going back to the hotel and moaning about why the communities first answer to every issue is the ban hammer.

Finally a big thanks to the team for convincing me to come along, inviting me to write here, as well as supporting me after an early loss. You guys are the best! 

Hope you enjoyed my part of the article (and the rest, but mainly my part), and maybe you will hear from me again in the future (I bloody hope so, we still have part 2 to write – Mike). 

Martin

I was extremely happy with my performance on the day. My key learnings from the Clash are,

1) You can bring a suprising amount of mirth to people around you by referring to your warband as ‘Brap Brap Pew Pew’ and pretending to pistol shoot models before rolling your dice. (The pew pew crew were my favourite warband by a country mile – Tom | see, I told y’all. “Brap brap pew pew” for life – Freya)

2) The most important model placement you have is Drakskewer. If you have drawn Change of Tactics in your opening hand then you will want to place him so as many people as possible are within his 7 hex threat range to guarantee you will score the objective. However if you are up against warbands where you need to do a lot of damage then you need to put him somewhere he will be safe until he is inspired (as a Mollog player I can confirm that the balloon boy was my priority target – Mike). When he is inspired he can one shot many key figures.

3) If you have Warning Shot in your objective hand then every two dice dagger attack with Allenson or Drakskewer will succeed against the odds and to your great frustration.

4) Hidden Paths and Shadowed Step are not just a cute way to score shortcut, they are your most important cards for setting things up for the rest of the game. So never discard them and think carefully before you play. There is nothing worse then getting all your guys to one side of the pitch and then see their target Faneway into the distance.

5) When Mollog first came out the general strategy was to rake up glory by wiping out his pint sized pals. Now that Tomes have become such a strong strategy for Mollog, you have got to focus on taking him out no matter what.

6) Playing against Ylthari you need to make a choice – a lot of Ylthari decks are based around her spell casting so you either go all out to remove her or focusing on scoring objectives by targeting the easier to hit Sylvaneth. I ended up coming up against Jay Clare’s Guardians on both days, I opted for the latter strategy and it won me the round the first time, tune in to part 2 to see how it did in the rematch.

7) Listen to people around you and what happens between matches. One of my games was against an incredibly well thought out Farstriders deck but it was so impressive that his opponents talked about it between games (Hearing Gerard the Professor shout ‘Fricking Farstriders’ in his wonderful accent is a beautiful thing). As a result I managed to avoid some of the traps in the deck when I came up against him in my final round. 

8) You can pull off some amazing shenanigans with shifting reflections but the moment your opponent knows you have it then they will not play into it. So it can become a dead card. This is the card that I would most consider dropping and I would probably put in Haymaker for sending Drakskewer on suicide missions.

9) If you are up against a Ylthari player who is hiding objectives in no man’s territory in order to score Reclaim the Lamenteri then a trick I missed is using Mischievous Spirits to move objectives back into their half and make it harder for them.

Oh god – Mike

Anyone who has made it this far through this mammoth article has probably figured out that the day didn’t go as expected for me so let’s get my placement out of the way first. I came 19th on day one with a 3-2 showing meaning I didn’t make the top 16 cut for day two. The two players I lost to were our very own Tom Bond (who finished the first day as the top player) and the player who won the whole tournament on day two, Neil Snowball-Hill.

My first round opponent was a friend of Steel City and nemesis of Tom Bond, namely Tom Eatch. Tom and his father Danial often join us for the weekly practice sessions at the outpost and I knew that despite his stature (I think he is 12?) that Tom was a serious opponent, after all he had destroyed Tom Bond in the January Grand Clash. Unfortunately for Tom he was playing Thorns against Aggro Mollog with Tome of Offerings, it’s not a pretty sight at the best of times and for both games dice were massively in my favour. I got to feel proud about trying to maximise my glory against a kid. Tom handled it fine and despite all the dice going against him he kept his chill and didn’t whine/moan, being a total gent the whole time. Some of the older members of our community could take a leaf out of his book.

The only standout moment from the next two matches was a mirror match vs another aggressive Mollog whom I won game 2 on tiebreakers because I had forgotten he had Denial. Not my smoothest moment as I literally had the opportunity to move into his territory for no cost in my last activation, instead choosing to go onto an objective token in no mans land like the muppet I am.

When I went into round 4 I was not happy to be facing Tom. We had practiced a lot against each other in the weeks leading up to this tournament and had come to the conclusion that it is basically a 50/50 depending on how the cards come out. The big card for me is Illusory Fighter which is absolutely essentially to allow me to ‘run away’ after an aggressive start and stop Tom from killing Mollog in retaliation. The other big swing is if Jagathra hits her Javelin charge onto Mollog, those 2 damage often put the troll in one shot range of Tom’s fur clad barbarians as he has a whole bunch of tricks in his deck to pump their damage. For both games I didn’t draw Illusory Fighter and Tom played pretty perfectly with no mistakes. 

So I lost that one 0-2.

Going into round 4 I had started to hope that I might actually make top 16, I was undefeated (note dropping a single game) and only needed one more match to seal the deal. Losing to Tom had suddenly thrown a kink into the works and a familiar feeling of dread started to come over me.

Round 5 I was matched vs Neil with his own version of Troll Tomes (have a look at this article if you want to see the general idea of the deck). I should be clear here that Neil was not net-decking in anyway, he had simply got some inspiration from my article/deck list and adapted it heavily to his style of play and boy was he a good player. Tom’s only individual game loss so far had been down to Neil so I was very scared to play vs him. Game 1 I guessed from Neils deployment pretty early on that he was at least some form of defensive Mollog, I had Aggressive defence in my opening hand so played my Mollog in a very aggressive fashion by going into Neil’s board and daring him to hit me, while targeting the easy Squigs first. Neil picked his moment to go for me well, he had Ready for Action in hand, he hit his initial attack and I missed my aggressive swing back and then he used Ready for Action to hit again and kill me.

Yikes.

I could feel my heart in my throat at this point.

For game 2 I once again had an early Aggressive defence in hand and played a very similar game, this time the dice gods favoured me and I killed Neil’s Mollog quickly. 

Both games had been a glory stomp but in opposite directions. Mollog mirrors are often like that.

Game 3 had everything to play for. 

Once again I had Aggressive Defence (pro tip in the Mollog mirror you should hard mulligan for either this card or Ready for Action) in hand and played aggressively – I killed Neil’s Spiteshroom very early on. Neil made a Hidden Paths play and used the multi attack on Inspired Mollog to kill two of my Squigs in one activation (with some help from Upper Hand) and we had a weird situation where our Mollogs had swapped boards. I had been very very careful with my positioning though, which paid off when I drew into Ready for Action and Spectral Wings in turn 2. Neil went first and tried a range 2 attack on the nearby remaining squig which missed and I played Spectral Wings in the power step. Neil counted hexes and he saw what was coming but unfortunately didn’t have a response. In my turn I charged and had his Mollog trapped against the wall with Foul Temper equipped, I hit my first attack and did 4 damage and then equipped an upgrade(can’t remember which one) to attack again with Ready for Action … Neil crit defended. I was exceptionally tense at this moment but I still had Aggressive Defence in hand so I put myself at odds to win the match. In Neils turn he attacked my Mollog without moving, probably the only misplay I saw him make all match as it still meant he was still trapped. I played Aggressive Defence and tanked the wounds that he dealt. I then rolled for my attack, I rolled two misses…

I rerolled one dice from Foul Temper. I closed my eyes.

I opened them.

It was a miss.

Neil then used Ready for Action to kill my Mollog.

Steel City never have to buy salt again. 

I legitimately think that my deck matches well into Neil’s, it was semi built for that purpose but at the end of the day Warhammer Underworlds is a dice game, especially when Mollog’s are involved and Neil played a fantastic set that forced me to take risks I might not have against other players. I am happy that I kept my composure and shook Neil’s hand afterwards, he was such a great guy to chat to and I look forward to seeing him at future events. Of course I moaned about it all to my teammates afterwards but that’s par for the course.

Honestly this was a big blow to me, I’d really thought I had my hand on the pulse of the meta giving me the right deck for the tournament. In the immediacy of the moment I think that bad dice feel worse than making misplays and I was not in the best place mentally. Looking back a bit I feel I can hold my head up reasonably high, I played the game as tight as I could and my only losses were to the best player at the event and Tom who is at least half decent (Cheers Mike – Tom). I also got to help inspire the deck that won; in fact 3 of the top 16 players were running versions of Troll Tomes. 

Freya 

Round 1 vs John Bracken (Ylthari’s Guardians)

I started the day off with a low scoring match against John Bracken from the design team – I was playing conservatively because I didn’t want to drop my first match, and also because I still wasn’t 100% sure if the game plan and card choices I’d decided on against guardians would work. Fortunately it seemed to hold out, and I was able to win 2 games in a row. John was an extremely pleasant and personable opponent, so all in all this was a good start to the day.

Result: 2-0 win

Lesson: identify matchups your deck has problems with and try and make tweaks to your list and the way you play until your chances improve. This is why it’s important to try and objectively look at why you lost a match instead of just blaming the dice or other things out of your control, and find ways that you can do better in the same situation in future.

Round 2 vs Paul Burrow-Newton (Mollog’s Mob) 

Disaster struck during this round when I came to draw the final three objectives in my deck. I knew I hadn’t scored Escalation yet, but when I drew my hand going into the final round it wasn’t there. I immediately counted my objective deck and realised that I only had 11 cards! I knew I had started the day with it, as I scored it in round 1, so I must have lost it when packing my stuff up after the game.

The only thing I could do was to immediately inform my opponent and then go to get a judge/tournament organiser to report my now invalid deck. Luckily for me the organisers provided a replacement card (shout out to Steve again for being awesome – Mike) and we were able to play out the rest of the game and match.

Outside of this little hiccup, the games themselves were both very intense defensive mirrors which for me personally is one of the most enjoyable play experiences in Underworlds. Glory margins are very tight, so everything comes down to how well you’re able to execute your gameplan and score objectives while identifying opportunities to make use of the particular strengths of your list – my ability to prey on the low health squigs with gambit spells vs Mollog’s sheer offensive power even in a defensive list with only a few aggressive power cards.

Despite deploying assuming an aggressive opponent (and making it hard to score Change of Tactics and Keep Them Guessing) my experience playing against Mike’s Troll Tomes deck meant I was prepared when I realised the type of deck I was playing against. In the end, both games were decided on tiebreakers in my favour, but if things had gone just slightly differently at any point they could easily have gone either way.

Result: 2-0 win

Lesson: double check that you’ve got all your cards after a match (pile shuffling before and after really helps here). The event team were absolutely amazing at getting this sorted for me, but this could easily have resulted in game or match losses due to an illegal deck. I’m so so grateful to the organisers for their help with this.

Intermission

After this round we had an opportunity to look around the exhibition hall during the lunch break. Mike got really paranoid about making the start of round 3 on time though, and hurried off meaning that he missed an impressive multi storey diorama and the opportunity to take some extremely ~ a e s t h e t i c ~ photos.

Result: some nice pictures.

Lesson: purple lighting is cool.

Tom looks on at the carnage in despair, imagining how much work is being created for the Ultramarines’ doctors. (I’m actually just very uncomfortable with heights – Tom)

TFW the exhibition is no longer just a dark room with a statue of Lurtz in, and you realise that some players in the event weren’t even born the last time you were there…

Round 3 vs Francois Frion (Mollog’s Mob)

Round 3 was another Mollog, but fortunately an aggressive list rather than a defensive one. I find this matchup a lot easier, as if you are careful with your positioning and the way you play (and also accept that they will kill at least 1 of your fighters) you can limit the Mollog player’s ability to score glory from their kills while picking off their low health fighters and scoring your own objectives – in particular, making sure that you can still score whatever your big end-game objectives are.

This plan went off pretty much as intended in both games and I was able to achieve a fairly comfortable 2-0 victory. In game 2 I was able to identify (and, luckily, carry off) a line of play that let me kill a 6 health Mollog in one activation during the second round. I cast Sphere of Ghur with Ammis, inspiring her and increasing her accuracy, then charged to deal 3 damage and knock him back into the cluster of lethal hexes on the Molten Shardpit board for a 4th, where Stormsire was positioned to Seggut’s Salvo him into another of the lethal hexes for the last 2 points. 

This stopped me scoring some of the objectives I was planning that round, but taking the chance to kill Mollog when he was in a threatening position meant that I had the opportunity to get them in the final round instead and overall was in a better position than if I’d just stoically stuck to my original defensive game plan and let Mollog get more attacks off.

Result: 2-0 win

Lesson: when you’re playing against Mollog it’s really important to identify times when you’ve got the highest chance of killing him and take those opportunities, even if it disrupts your gameplan (at least against aggressive builds). You can always go back to scoring your normal objectives after he’s dead, and you’ve got a lot less to worry about with the warband’s only real threat gone.

Round 4 vs Tom Bell (The Farstriders)

Unfortunately, there’s not much I can say about this match. My opponent was really unlucky, losing the board roll-off both games and missing pretty much every key die roll. As a relic deck this meant that he wasn’t able to score the glory he needed to go off, and I was able to effectively counter-attack and kill all or most of his fighters in both games. Having played a lot of games against Mike’s Farstriders with my Steelhearts in season 1 also helped, as I had a good idea of how to best place boards and fighters to counter the vanguard chamber Stormcast – with the dice how they were, though, I didn’t really need it.

Result: 2-0 win

Lesson: despite what I said about the first round, sometimes the dice just don’t go your way and there’s not really much you can do about it. The best you can do is grin and bear it if it’s happening to you, or recognise it and commiserate when it happens to your opponent.

As a side note, this is where the cut to the final would have been in the old single day 4 round grand clash format. At this point me and John Rees of Can you Roll a Crit? were the only undefeated players with no game losses, so it would have been the 2 of us facing off for 1st place. Despite missing out on playing the final, though, I agree with John that this format was much better.

Top 5 after 4 rounds
The standings at the end of round 4, before everything went wrong (spoilers)…

Round 5 vs Tom Bond (Godsworn Hunt)

Unlike with Mike, where who wins has tended to go back and forth depending on what our current decklists look like, I don’t think I’ve ever won a match against Tom? He tends towards extremely mobile aggressive decks that are pretty much hard counters to my defensive play (I could probably rebuild my deck to do better against him, but then I’d lose a lot of my game in other matchups), so when I saw that I was paired against him I was pretty sure my winning streak was at an end.

I was briefly optimistic after winning a close first game, but Tom then returned to form and easily pulled off the reverse sweep to finish the match 2-1. It was one of those matches where you look back at it and there’s not really anything you could have done differently – despite playing as well as I could I still lost.

Result: 1-2 loss

Lesson: Tom’s secretly the Steel City MVP – Mike only has more trophies because he’s been to more events (Keep telling yourself that Freya – Mike).

If you don’t forward this photo to 7 of your friends, Tom will crawl out of your computer screen and kill you.

Despite my loss to Tom, when the results were announced I was happy to see that I’d finished in 8th, and – along with Tom, Martin, and Oli – had made it to day 2. This was really all I was hoping for, and I was so pumped to come back and play some more games the next day.

Outro – Mike

That wraps up our day 1 exploits at the Grand Clash, with everyone but me making the top 16. Don’t worry I did have a minor role to play in day 2 so you can expect some more writing from me on part 2 of the article.

At Steel City we would love to have your feedback. If you have something to say about a specific article then feel free to comment below, if you want to get in touch about the blog in general, or just prefer to communicate privately then you can get in touch by emailing us at team@steelcityshadespire.com

6 thoughts on “A Grand Clash with Steel City – Day 1 of 2

Add yours

  1. Great Article can’t wait for the part 2. One question though for Olivier : You don’t take any card to inspire/heal your warband (ok Ylthari can inspire herself) ? a cleave on Skhatael and a 4 range of Ahnslaine is not worth it ?

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    1. Honestly, don’t know. Obviously the inspire is strong, but is it better than say rebound or upperhand? Is it better to have the smaller deck. I didn’t have enough time to practice with and without, so I made I call that they were strong enough base and went with it.
      Adding an inspire condition may well be the key to suring up some of the holes in the deck (Skhatael obviously will hit more reliably on high hp targets), but the aoe and extra bow range are in my opinion a bit of a waste of time. This means your now searching for 1 card in a 22 card deck, which is unlikely unless you toss objectively better cards (one thing never mentioned in the article is that with the amount of score imediatelies, there were no bad hands turn one, even with a few equips. Don’t think I tossed a single power draw.) or you have to remove a card for a possible 1 hammer cleave buff (don’t get me wrong, it’s a huge buff) on 1 unit (who I used as an early glass cannon anyway)
      Long answer but basicly – needs more testing, my initial feeling was not wurf.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry that I didn’t go into detail on our games – my memory is bad at the best of times and i got pretty blasted that night. Look forward to seeing you again 🙂

      Like

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