Last game of Unplugged 2022 and I’m up against Pat and his gorgeous Dwarfs, as was very likely our destiny. We face each other at just about every tournament we’re at, and it’s a minor miracle that we missed each other at Dead of Winter back in February. He’s changed things up since we played at Crossroads 2021, but then COK22 has hit since then as well.
Dwarfs 1995 *Ironclad Horde – Throwing Mastiff, Hammer of Measured Force Berserker Brock Riders Regiment – Potion of the Caterpillar *Bulwarkers Regiment – Throwing Mastiff *Bulwarkers Regiment – Throwing Mastiff Mastiff Hunting Pack Regiment – Throwing Mastiff Mastiff Hunting Pack Regiment – Throwing Mastiff Mastiff Hunting Pack Regiment – Throwing Mastiff Sharpshooters Troop Sharpshooters Troop Sharpshooters Troop Steel Behemoth – Golloch’s Fury Berserker Lord on Brock – Blade of the Beast Slayer Stone Priest – Ej Periscope, Radiance of Life, Mind Fog (3), Scorched Earth (3) *Dwarf Army Standard Bearer *The Royal Guard Formation
For those not in the know, the Dwarf formation adds +1 Me and Nv and gives the ASB aura (Elite (Melee) Infantry) and Very Inspiring. I’m going to say that qualifies as very rad. Around this core are a cloud of shooty chaff/scenario pieces, a fast flanking force and one serious shooty / buffing monster-chariot. Altogether a tight Dwarf build looking to keep up with the meta.
Final round was Control, with the Dwarfs going first one way or another.
SCUTTLIN’ VICTORY (20-0)
While this dunking couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy, it felt good to get a heavy win and feel like I played competently while doing so. I certainly showed more patience with my punchy stuff than maybe ever, and while my Heartpiercers didn’t dictate the game as in the last match, I used them as the scenario pieces I designed the army around, which is a good feel of its own. I’m sure Pat and I will rematch soon enough 😀
So with this big win I ended up 2-2-1, getting the 50% record I always try for. Happily I also got 4th best sports, which helped put me at I think 11 of 18 in the final ranking? Not bad at all for how heavy the field was.
Thanks for reading all these, and big thanks to the crew at Unplugged Gamers for putting the GT on. I’m thrilled I could make it out after a few years away, looking forward to next year.
UP NEXT: 2600 points of mayhem at the Orc Town GT early June!
Unplugged Day Two dawns with me up against my clubmate and tournament bunk buddy Drew and his Undead. We’ve scrummed a number of times, but never at 1995? And certainly not with his shiny new Werewolves or Wraiths.
I continue to be shocked by how good Wights are, tho I probably shouldn’t be at this point 😛 He’s replaced his Ghoul chaff with Wraith chaff and swapped out excessive Zombie regiments with a half pack of Werewolves looking to do things like move at the double. I’m surprised he’s done so poorly to be down here with me but I think he had some hard match-ups in day one.
Fourth round was Salt the Earth, again with tokens pre-placed on the map. The Undead went first, either because he’s slow or I wanted to shoot his dudes.
What. A. Journey. I felt like this was a breakthrough game for me where my deployment was sound and I fully recognized my shooting advantage and really made the most of it. Throwing the right Kraken away was a bummer and would have changed the game wildly if I held onto him, although I really wanted him to dive into the Undead backfield to clear out those Zombies / force him to burn those tokens I otherwise couldn’t get to. Also Wights are frustratingly good and make surge just so much more viable than it usually is (in my head), but you certainly pay for it. Wraiths on the other hand, damn, that’s some value right there. Finally, I’m more and more convinced that I need Lute back in the list, more than I need the trident, almost entirely because it helps the Placoderms do anything. Spoilers I guess for my next list.
With my sweet 4 points, I’m matched up against a gorgeous Moorish (?) army likewise wallowing down here at the bottom. Wyatt’s a good guy with some serious tools in his list, who must have been smacked by some heavies in the first couple rounds.
Brothermark 1995 Order of the Abyssal Hunt Regiment – Blessing of the Gods *Paladin Knights Regiment – Aegis Fragment, Potion of the Caterpillar *Paladin Knights Regiment – Aegis Fragment, Boots of Striding Men-at-Arms Spearmen Horde – Veteran Command, Hammer of Measured Force Villein Bowmen Horde – Fire-Oil Villein Skirmishers Troop *High Paladin on Dragon – Staying Stone Exemplar Hunter on Horse – The Gauntlet, Scythe of the Harvester Exemplar Chaplain on Horse – Battle Hymns, Knowledgeable, Host Shadowbeast (8), Crown of the Wizard King Exemplar Chaplain – Battle Hymns, Zephyr Crown *Defenders of Righteousness Formation
He walked me through the Exemplar Hunter + Shadowbeast wombo-combo, which definitely has legs, especially against individuals (thanks to duellist) but really anything (thanks to both rampage and slayer). Otherwise it’s three serious knight units, one helluva dragon, and some loathsome peasant Nerve blocks / scenario pieces. He did admit at some point that there’s a severe lack of inspiring, calling it a “design flaw” 😀
Third round was Pillage, with the seven tokens already placed on the map. Brothermark went first whether or not they wanted to.
SCUTTLIN’ VICTORY (16-4)
There’s a different version of this game where Wyatt didn’t go so ham into a charge I wanted him to take, but I also think my list matches pretty well into his, with my phalanx, speed and rampage (also guns). He had some misgivings about his choices in our game, but wore it well. For me, I won’t pretend finishing Day 1 with a win didn’t feel great. After this we got grub and partied at the house of the TO, which was super nice of him and his spouse.
Game two sees me hurtling down to the depths to face a really quite competent Nightstalkers player I’ve never met who must have faced a real heavy first game to get dunked down here with me. Anyway, without further ado:
Nightstalkers 1995 Fiends Horde – Mead of Madness Butchers Horde Butchers Horde Butchers Horde Soulflayers Regiment – Wind Blast (5) Soulflayers Regiment – Wind Blast (5) Soulflayers Regiment – Wind Blast (5) Phantoms Troop Planar Apparition – Heal (7), Mind Fog (2) Mind-screech – Lightning Bolt (6), Mind Fog (6), Wind Blast (6) Mind-screech – Lightning Bolt (6), Mind Fog (6), Wind Blast (6) Portal of Despair
Lots to like here. Enough Soulflayers to take advantage of the new hotness without being abusive, decent mix of support monsters, bit of an old school flair with the triple Butchers, and the Portal for style points. Could certainly be tuned but its got lots of tools to work with.
Second round was Loot, and he went first either by choice or command.
NIGHTSTALKER VICTORY (16-4)
While Stealthy is a royal pain for me, most of his army being De 4+ gave me hope for gaining some momentum and having a fighting chance at two tokens … but that early lucky rout of the Kraken holding down his left flank had me scrambling. Compound that by the Centurion doing a collective 1 damage all game (!), and canny use of windblast by my opponent, and I was just too many steps behind to claw back the Nightstalkers’ early lead. Fun match tho, with loads of interplay. Getting that lucky pop on the hexed Planar Apparition was a feel good moment amongst the frustration.
My run at the Unplugged GT 2022 kicked off with a rematch vs the Basilean army I was thoroughly trounced by at Dead of Winter mere weeks before. While a cute coincidence, I was all for it, as it’s one of my favorite Kings of Warmachine armies out there and it’s marshaled by a gem of a player.
But first, a reminder of my army for this event:
I was super excited to see him field units I hadn’t seen, and I gather he was pushed to leave the Men-at-Arms horde at home and lean harder into speed with the cav regiments. He had misgivings, and personally I was hoping my Placoderms’ phalanx would put in work in what was otherwise a tentative match for me.
First round was Dominate, and he won the roll for initiative and gave it to me. Canny angels.
… except there is no after photo, this is it. The Centurion fails to wound those Elohi, neither Placoderm regiment drops their target (0 on the Elohi, 3 on Sammy) ensuring their deaths, and the Kraken boops the Palace Guard to 7. Heartpiercers stick 3 damage on the strength Knights, continuing to ignore the Elohi horde which I never remembered was Def 4+ for swapping their shields out. I took a lot of risks this turn and would definitely pay for that shortly.
BASILEAN VICTORY (20-0)
Zero points, ouch! I’m a big proponent of blackjack for this very reason, getting zero’d is rough, kids. Chris played great and had great dice throughout, while I had that early shooting result and had my errors compounded by cold dice. Even deploying the Water Elementals that far to the right was a mistake, but they tend to cause me trouble in deployment, as I want them to clean things up but the base is big and my line is full of Heartpiercers who want to shoot Unfortunately for the Basileans, this win catapulted them up into the winners bracket, where they were slapped around by stronger armies game after game. Sorry, bud.