Tag: Tournament

Hey all, this is a (now slightly belated) write-up for the team event at the Bokur Brawl – an East Coast regional team event hosted each fall in New Jersey (scheduled for the first weekend of October next year and an experience that I can’t recommend more highly, so if you have the chance I’d heavily, heavily encourage rounding up a team and making the trip – look for more information here).

The DMV (District, Maryland, and Virginia) area put together two teams for the event this year – Mollywhopper Teams Roosevelt and Lincoln.  I was on the latter, which had a lineup that looked like this:

  1. (Captain) Mark Male – Minions – Rask & Maelok
  2. Robert Male – Circle Orboros – Una 2 & Krueger 2
  3. Chris Dumm – Protectorate – High Reclaimer 1 & Harbinger
  4. Bruno Del Alamo – Trollbloods – Kolgrimma & Gunnbjorn
  5. Myself (Jeremy Posner) – Mercenaries – Ossrum & Magnus 2

A full rundown of the list sets for every team (including my own) is available here.

I was fairly happy with my preparation going into the event, particularly in doing as much as I could to get up to speed on a warcaster that I have relatively little experience with in Magnus II (whether I should have been taking a warcaster I wasn’t very fluent with to a team event is another thing entirely).  As befits a Mercenary pair I didn’t have any matchups that I felt were pure dodges – lists that I could not let my team ask me to play into and have any kind of ability to provide a useful performance – but I generally wanted to avoid Cryx as much as I could, and then didn’t relish playing into a few other things (Judicators for one) but then nobody really wanted some of those games and I had no better reason than anyone else to want to avoid them.

Round One – CID’s Nuts – Circle Orboros

Feeling comfortable with my lists and broadly with my ability to deal with a lot of common problems in the field immediately paid off as I ended up being dealt a Circle Pair in Round One (Krueger II/Bradigus) that I didn’t relish playing into but which I felt comfortable navigating.  Ossrum v. Bradigus is a very slow, careful game on both sides and one that is very much about value – Ossrum needs just about everything in his list to have at least one really high value activation before it’s traded off and because the game is likely to be in the 5-7 round range the immediacy of that payout is much less important.  I ended up going first in this one – something which isn’t necessarily that easy to capitalize on in the matchup because Ossrum can’t really crowd Bradigus well even with his feat up, but which let me prevent the opposite from happening.

Turn One – I did cross my fingers that I might mise my way into taking a Sentry Stone on the top of one, and so tried to leave my lanes with Kell as open as I could, but Steve used a central building to keep them safe, and given that they’d be prowling from the Bottom of One onward I just backed Kell and Eiryss off to keep my 9 points of damage around over the long haul to facilitate trades – my experience has been that any value that you think you’re getting by playing the two aggressively in the matchup is less than you get being able to produce ~54 damage on priority targets over a full game (unless you’re either pushing for a win or staving off a loss on scenario).

Turn Two – After Steve similarly had relatively little to do on his first turn I was provided a potential vector to get one Driller into a Guardian on my second turn, but with relatively little support.  I would also be able to put my Bashers into Wold Watchers.  This kind of initial offensive line is firmly below the value threshold that I tend to hold out for in the Bradigus matchup.  What would likely happen in this scenario is that I wouldn’t kill any of the Beasts I went into (or might kill one Watcher that I could leverage my damage support to push on) and then would likely lose the Driller and multiple Bashers in return without actually really forcing a feat from Brad (or might let him take a second Driller by Feating if I tried to push the rest of the battlegroup up to have follow-ups for my trades).  This is a line that probably runs me out of gas on attrition by turn Four or Five, which wasn’t the place that I wanted to be.  So, I instead went for the slower developmental turn and tried to make sure that (1) I wasn’t going to lose any Drillers (2) that I had good lines to play back-to-front if Steve played into me aggressively and gave me Watchers or Guardians in my face and (3) that he couldn’t make major scenario inroads to punish my passivity.  Eiryss and Kell did their things on the turn and my two units of Eliminators postured on hills on each side of the table while one Basher tried to set up one of his Watchers for a future trade while also getting into his zone.  Things roughly played out as I’d hoped they would – I did end up losing an Eliminator to a charging Wight on my left side, and the Basher I’d sent in was summarily  crushed by a Guardian, though it at least drew that Guardian out of stones and into a position that made it harder to leverage ideally going forward.  Steve ended up scoring the far flag and his own zone, ending the turn 0-2.


Turn Three – I felt reasonably happy about how conceding early tempo to preserve longterm value had set me up for my third turn, as I had a pretty good route to getting my Forge Guard into a Watcher he’d put forward to contest my zone and stall me out and then looking to combine two Driller activations and potentially some chip damage from Eiryss and Kell to take out a Guardian with my feat up, hopefully then only giving up a single Driller in return and then being in a position to take out a second Guardian to get up and over an attrition threshold that would be enough to get through the rest of the game.  Things largely worked out, as Ragman and Gorman amped up my Forge Guard to chew through the forward Watcher, allowing the two Drillers to get forward and to take out his Guardian, while I did better than I should have in putting real chip damage on a couple of Watchers in the area with another Basher and my Eliminators, all of which also got into his zone.  I think I accidentally took the third Basher off of the table entirely at some point in this turn (just entirely removed it without its ever having taken damage), which led to some confusion going forward but was my own mistake, and so something we just shrugged off and played through.  Having cleared my own zone and contested his I scored back, 1-2.  His retaliation turn was somewhat stifled by his having to consider how best to work towards re-clearing his zone of models with a diverse set of difficult statlines (17-11 on the Eliminators, 10-22 on the Basher).  As a result he had to make some concessions that led to a less than ideally efficient offensive turn, and so left both of my committed Drillers alive (one without cortex but with and both arms, the other more or less intact though out of my control area anyway).  We both scored our zones at the end of this turn 2-3.

Turn Four –  Having weathered the early storm I endeavored to start building a scenario advantage.  On the turn I used a combination of the Forge Guard, battered Drillers, and the Third Driller trailing in their wake to take out a second Guardian as well as two previously damaged Watchers, leaving him with one of each as well as his Sentry Stones as the bulk of his remaining fighting force.  I put one Blaster as far toward the back of his zone as its speed would allow and sent Eiryss over to score the now clear far flag, tipping things my way 4-3.  Steve again had to somewhat divide his efforts in a way that cut into his ability to do damage, and ended up removing one Driller and  seriously damaging the previously undamaged one with his remaining Guardian, but leaving me with one entirely combat capable and another with at least a right arm to contribute going forward.  Not realizing that my light warjacks were Sturdy (no pushes) he did good damage but could not get the Blaster out of his zone shooting it with Bradigas, and further didn’t contest mine, ending his turn with me up 5-3 and in a position to win.

With one point secure from my own, uncontested zone I needed either to score one flag and remove his objective or to score two flags.  He’d managed to take down Eiryss with a Mannikan on his turn but had only contested that flag with that single model and was only contesting my friendly flag with three Mannikans from the other unit.  This left me to clear the four with a combination of Kell, Jonne, and Blasters, before running Ragman and Gorman to each flag for an 8-3 scenario win.

Takeaways – I can attribute a lot of this game to my having played this matchup a lot, possibly more than any other in MK III (much to the displeasure of Michael Stone, who had the same Circle Pair on the other Mollywopper team).  As a result I had a pretty good sense of the game and was sure from the outset Who the Beatdown was (neither list actually but more Brad than Ossrum if either) and so was able to make almost entirely value oriented decisions over the course of the game – trading a small initial scenario deficit and very little focus efficiency over my first two turns for very high leverage turns in the midgame.  My dice also cooperated, which is something that is more important in the Ossrum v. Brad game than in many, because Ossrum has the edge in cost efficiency but pays for it in often being able to set up ~70-80% plays for pieces that he can pay for dearly if he flubs.  I didn’t in this one and as a result pulled out a win.  My team did the same, getting through the round 4-1.

Round Two – The Team with No Name – Circle Orboros

Round Three – The Influentials – Mercenaries 

Round Four – Mollywhoppers Team Roosevelt – Cygnar

In round four we had the bad luck of being paired up against the team we’d traveled up and prepped with, though bad luck only insofar as it meant we were going to be playing a lot of games we’d played before – we knew going in the quality of competition was going to be more than we could have asked for.  We lost the initial roll (which provided the winning team the choice to either choose three of five matchups total or to choose the tables each matchup would be played on) and were given choice to tables, but less say in who we’d be playing into.  Having played each player on Roosevelt at least once (and most significantly more) and having the benefit of having discussed matchups for their pairs prior to the event (though of course they had the same from me) I was fairly sure of who they thought had the better games into my pair and who would, in an ideal world, want to dodge me.  I had expected, if the other team wanted to line up an even or better matchup into me, to be given a game either with Donnie Gallitz’ Legion pair (and probably Kallus I in Primal Terrors, though he felt comfortable with Fyanna 2 as an option in that scenario as well) or Ryan Babcock’s Skorne pair and specifically his Zaadesh II list.  Both Donnie and Ryan are very strong players, and I didn’t think either was particularly wrong about having a pretty even game into the lists I’d brought, but I didn’t think either game was much worse than even, so felt comfortable being a flex option throughout the process.

Team Roosevelt’s internal assessments, however, had led them to prefer their matchups holistically in a scenario that left me driving the bus, so instead I was given a game with Anthony Gibbs, seller of a great many Minutemen, generally in sets of five.  Anthony was (I think) captain of Team Roosevelt, so personally maneuvered things so as to have this game, though it was one that he had rated as at least a soft dodge going into the event (based partially on our last Ossrum v. Sloan game which went very well until Ossrum declined to remain in cover for no clear reason in retrospect).  So, we ended up playing that game again, though because I had both Anastasia and had been able to pick tables he had the treat of having to go first on a board that gave me a very convenient wall to feat and push tempo with.

Turn One – Compelled to go first, Anthony moved up with an eye towards making sure I wasn’t going to be able to feat and run to engage his Hunters.  He crucially forgot, however, about my ability to Snipe Eiryss, and so left me with an angle to take a titanic tempo lead on my own first turn.  I did, Sniping Eiyrss and disrupting Sloan while putting Bullet Dodger on Ossrum and walking up to camp on two behind that flag, screened by layers of Dorf Armor and sure that without the ability to put up Guided Fire even a desperate assassination line just didn’t have any teeth.  Otherwise everything ran screaming up the board – this is a 100% tempo oriented matchup for Ossrum – he can get through Sloan’s list much faster than the reverse if he can force it to largely fight up in a pocket, and going second he can compel that by threatening to entirely swamp any central zones.

Turn Two – Anthony did his best to do what he could with a rough table state, making strong targeting decisions and getting through one Blaster and a number of Forge Guard while also taking Eiryss off of the table – though her damage was already done.  He did his best to make Sloan as safe as possible by using a patch of rubble to zone my battlegroup to a degree and moved her as far away as he reasonably could (as far as he could without killboxing himself, which would probably resulted in an immediate scenario loss given how strongly I had asserted control over the middle and left hand zones).

Every tight play in the world wasn’t enough given how much the matchup allowed me to control the pace of the game and how hard being disrupted had shut down Sloan’s ability to do more than make me have it – force me to execute a one turn win either by taking apart his army so completely that he’d never have a viable assassination threat again or by executing an assassination of my own.  I felt I had strong lines to manage the latter without entirely conceding my ability to bail in the worst case, and so went through a fairly strong run – first throwing a Hunter diagonally at another Hunter slightly behind Sloan to put it less than 1″ in front of her and then Slamming it through her with a Basher to follow up, Flak Field, and buy attacks to end the game.

Unfortunately for my team, setting me up with such a strong matchup ultimately paid off, as we lost the round 2-3 with the last game going down to the wire.  All in all it was a great round and a fitting way to close out the event, though one that left us in the unfortunate position of having to go home without local bragging rights.  Team Roosevelt’s efforts scored them 3rd Place in the event, while we managed a respectable 6th, first out of the 2-2 finishers based on our strength of schedule.

This past weekend I attended a 20 person local steamroller and brought the familiar pair of Ossrum and Thexus, lists as follows:

(Ossrum 1) General Ossrum [+28]
– Ghordson Basher [9]
– Ghordson Driller [10]
– Ghordson Driller [10]
– Ghordson Driller [10]
– Grundback Blaster [6]
– Grundback Blaster [6]
– Grundback Blaster [6]
– Grundback Gunner [6]
– Grundback Gunner [6]
Eiryss, Mage Hunter of Ios [0(7)]
Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist [0(4)]
Orin Midwinter, Rogue Inquisitor [0(5)]
Ragman [0(4)]
Horgenhold Artillery Corps [6]
Horgenhold Forge Guard (min) [10]
Horgenhold Forge Guard (min) [10]
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt [8]

(Thexus 1) Exulon Thexus [+29]
– Warden [10]
– Warden [10]
– Wrecker [14]
Cephalyx Agitator [3]
Cephalyx Agitator [3]
Machine Wraith [2]
Machine Wraith [2]
Cephalyx Mind Bender & Drudges (max) [11]
Cephalyx Mind Bender & Drudges (max) [11]
Cephalyx Mind Slaver & Drudges (max) [12]
Cephalyx Overlords [0(8)]
Cephalyx Overlords [0(8)]
Croe’s Cutthroats (max) [16]
– Cephalyx Dominator [1]
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt [8]
– Cephalyx Dominator [1]

The questions that I was particularly interested in answering throughout the event were:

  • Whether I should give into my dissatisfaction with Forge Guard and move to an entirely battlegroup and “other” list model with Ossrum (I think Cory Doyle has run a list along the lines of what I’m imagining).
  • Whether the Croes held up their end with Thexus.  I’m not necessarily that enchanted with the backstab/TK combination because they still tend to run into problems with really formidable ARM values, but Thexus is already such a good scenario warcaster I wondered whether he might be able to make a lot out of having an AD presence.  I also had faint inklings that Croe himself and Silencer might be tech for some matchups (e.g. Kolgrimma as a way to stave off giving up looks at an assassination by shooting Mulg).
  • Whether I felt that I needed a more straightforward midrange list to grind against stat skews (probably a Damiano list).
Round I – Breakdown

(Nemo 3) Artificer General Nemo [+25] in Storm Division
– Dynamo [18]
– Firefly [8]
– Firefly [8]
– Firefly [8]
– Firefly [8]
– Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator [4]
Captain Arlan Strangewayes [4]
Stormsmith Stormcaller (3) [0(5)]
Stormsmith Stormcaller (3) [0(5)]
Stormsmith Storm Tower [4]
Storm Strider [18]
Storm Strider [18]

My opponent, a local, and I were a little miffed that we were matched up immediately (but of course you always are) and I was also a little miffed to have to play Nemo III on a fairly slow scenario.  On the top of turn one I ran, aiming to keep my options open if only I could get away with taking a solid shot at Nemo right away and duck having to have a real plan for the game.  This involved keeping lines of threat as open for both of the Gunners as possible around a central obstruction and being sure that Eiryss and the Artillery could manage to clear the same for LOS (but without making a show of measuring from either too much).  The former got Snipe and the latter Fire for Effect.  On the bottom of one Nemo didn’t quite play things safely enough.  He didn’t advance aggressively, but didn’t have to, really, and really I was happy to take what I could get.  Nemo ended the turn having put Electrify somewhere (not on himself, which was really what mattered) and Lightning Shroud somewhere else (not on himself either, but in this case it didn’t matter) and then on the top of two I threw a lot of dice at him.  Eiryss got the show started by seeing if I could roll a 5 and then, having proven that I could, I figured that I was feating this turn regardless of what happened vis a vis killing an elderly inventor, and so I did (but didn’t do damage).  I ran the Basher up into a trench to engage a Firefly near one Strider, to try to encourage poor scenario play as much as I could, but I then managed to avoid coming up with any more ideas because the Artillery and a Gunner killed him.

https://i.imgur.com/dEZXgW4.jpg https://i.imgur.com/WBJaFuI.jpg

Round II –  Standoff

(Mortenebra 1) Master Necrotech Mortenebra [+24] in Black Industries
– Deathjack [23]
– Deathripper [6]
– Malice [15]
– Reaper [13]
– Scavenger [0(7)]
– Scavenger [0(7)]
– Seether [13]
– Seether [13]
Machine Wraith [2]
Machine Wraith [2]
Necrotech [2]
Necrotech [2]
Warwitch Siren [4]
Warwitch Siren [4]

This looked like a job for Thexus to me, as I have generally been rewarded for trusting his ability to trade well with Cryx heavies, and it was Cryx heavies on the other side regardless of the list my opponent took (the other was also in BI – a Venethrax list).  This was also a good chance to test the premise that Croes are actually a live unit even against fairly shooting resilient lists that Ossrum might draw out (BI certainly being one, Forges another) because those lists don’t necessarily have the same durability in melee and Thexus facilitates their backstab charges as well as their backstab shooting.

After I moved up on the top of one my opponent responded by moving fairly aggressively and particularly by getting the DJ up behind a central obstruction with Spectral Steel on the bottom of one and trying to keep as safe from my Machine Wraiths as possible (mine were certainly the better Wraiths in the matchup).  I was reasonably sure that I had a decent long game, but also that the game would be pretty short if the Deathjack (or possibly any Cryx heavy) ever got to Thexus, so I spent a bit of time early making sure that I wasn’t within 16″ if I could possibly help it.  On the top of two I accepted that I would have to get within the magic distance if I wanted to have a decent feat, which I did, pulling the Reaper towards the ambushing slavers on the right, the Deathjack towards the Machine Wraith that hopefully spelled its end and TKing the Inflictor on the left side around to set up a Croe unit charge.  Everything went relatively well except in re: the Deathjack, which I failed to roll a five to hit.  I contented myself by trying to jam it up behind the central obstruction as thoroughly as I could, charging in a Warden and beating it back diagonally towards the Cryx deployment zone. The turn was otherwise relatively uneventful, though I managed to kill a Siren but not a Machine Wraith with the one Overlord in range on my right.  On the bottom of two the Deathjack and Seether certainly killed the sacrificial Warden very thoroughly, but otherwise things went fairly well, but he scored a point on his close zone and kept the others contested.  On the top of three I took down the Seether that had been playing patsy to the Deathjack and did a moderate amount of damage to it as well via Adrenal Flooded drudges.  At some point either during this turn or the turn previous I also brought down the two Scavengers.  I scored both my near zone and the right circular zone on the turn to go up 2-1.  On the bottom of three the Deathjack removed my Wrecker, and Malice continued to mostly soak up attacks and hoard souls, slowly fighting the Bender unit on the left but being ARM 22 and in a zone more than anything else.  He scored his near zone one again on this turn, 2-2.  On top of four the combination of a boosted hex blast and three AF drudges finished off the Deathjack, though after Aiyana whiffed her Harm roll.  My volume of attack advantage ground him down to Malice, his Deathripper (scuffed), Darryl and Mortenabra by the end of the turn, and I scored 2 to go up 4-2 (Thexus wasn’t quite ready to get into my friendly zone and my Monstrosities were now gone).  On bottom of four, without a much else to do, Morty went in herself and started collecting souls,  and Malice killed the remaining Warden, but I scored again at the end of the turn, 5-2.  That allowed me to walk Thexus into my near zone and end the turn on top of five to go up to 7-2 and win on scenario.  

https://i.imgur.com/kQ0cVCr.jpg https://i.imgur.com/jl3Vz77.jpg https://i.imgur.com/k2ZUcy8.jpg https://i.imgur.com/GE0kPXY.jpg https://i.imgur.com/CYHa9pM.jpg

Round III – Spread the Net 

(Amon 1) High Allegiant Amon Ad-Raza [+29] in The Creator’s Might
– Dervish [7]
– Devout [9]
– Indictor [15]
– Sanctifier [14]
– Sanctifier [14]
– Templar [15]
– Templar [15]
– Hierophant [0(3)]
Anastasia di Bray [3]
The Covenant of Menoth [0(4)]
Vassal of Menoth [0(3)]
Vassal of Menoth [3]
Wrack [1]
Choir of Menoth (min) [4]
Choir of Menoth (min) [4]

My opponent was somewhat concerned from the word go in this one, as he selected Amon out of concern for the Harbinger’s safety against Ossrum, while I assumed that he likely wouldn’t be interested in playing her, and so brought Thexus, content to see what I could do in the matchup if I did end up seeing Harby. He went first and moved forward on top of one, but had to give me a friendly zone that would be pretty punishing to contest, because an obstruction allowed me to really remove a warjack at a time without providing easy angles for retaliatory trades.  He was concerned a second time on bottom of one, as he appreciated the issue that my machine wraiths presented for him (he could attack them well enough because of the Sanctifiers, but couldn’t easily do anything about them until they were committed, which would generally entail sacrificing something much more valuable for the opportunity).  On top of two he moved a Sanctifier into my friendly zone, enlivining it because it was better to do than not.  The vassal responsible set up camp on his flag, with an Indictor for company. Contesting my friendly flag with a heavy was a bridge too far at this point, however, and so on bottom of two I killed the Sanctifier and crippled the cortex and sword arm of the Indictor with the ambushing drudges, positioning the rest of the unit so as to not easily give up backstrikes to Stacy (it wouldn’t do for a Merc to get got by ambush) and killed the Vassal with an Overlord.  A Machine Wraith ran to my flag and so I ended the turn up 2-0.  He felt that things did not portend a long and successful scenario game at this point, and so got aggressive, feating with Amon and ending the turn on one focus and in his friendly zone, which he scored.  He dealt with the wraith my flag with a Dervish after getting the Sanctifier in range.  I don’t believe he contested my friendly zone, and so the turn ended 3-1.  on top of three I felt I had something of a free roll at Amon, as I could probably score both my friendly zone and his flag and make attritional inroads with the drudges and monstrosities on that die of the board, leaving the Bender unit, Overlords, and Holt without anything quite as essential to do with their activations.  One of the overlords managed to hit him and did 1-2 damage through his single focus, and Thexus set Holt up by TKing him into range to aim, and Holt obliged by hitting twice and doing what I think was very average damage.  The Bender unit then advanced one drudge into melee via an Adrenal Flood and the one attack proved enough to force a tough roll, which Amon failed, saving me from having to continue a longer game on attrition and scenario.

https://i.imgur.com/Ew215di.jpg https://i.imgur.com/kEtAsKz.jpg

Round VI – Recon II

(Kolgrima 1) Kolgrima Stonetruth, Winter Witch [+28] in Power of Dhunia
– Dire Troll Bomber [19]
– Dire Troll Brawler [16]
– Dire Troll Mauler [15]
– Mulg the Ancient [22]
– Troll Axer [10]
– Trollkin Runebearer [0(5)]
Bog Trog Mist Speaker [4]
Troll Whelps [0(4)]
Troll Whelps [0(4)]
Dhunian Knot [6]
Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes (min) [6]
– Stone Scribe Elder [3]
Swamp Gobbers Bellows Crew [2]

There were three undefeated after four rounds, and I ended up being the pair down.  Fortunately we all agreed that we weren’t about to play through 10:30 or 11:00 and that we’d just split in the event that I won and we didn’t have a clear winner at the end of the round.  That decision proved wise as both my opponent and I were tired in this one.  Early on I cemented in his mind the conclusion that he didn’t like his chances in a long game by very nearly killing his Bomber for free via a Rampager and the Aiyana/Croe unit activations (and I will add because I can’t stop myself that I should actually have killed it).  He ended up spending his turn two (bottom of two) tanking for a good thirty minutes trying to find a way to kill me, which I didn’t think he could, as Thexus was on a hill, camping 3, with a shield guard and both on the other side of a forest from Kolgrimma and Mulg and more than 21″ from the former and 19″ from the latter (and there weren’t really viable Hunter’s Mark targets around, the angle that would be created would require Mulg to turn to face away from Thexus to get up the table).  Happily for me my opponent eventually decided that I had done a good job of avoiding offering any sort of viable assassination and he conceded, having taken up most of his clock and also having not done anything significant to keep his shot at attrition alive.

The night was capped off by discovering that the game that I didn’t have to play would have been into Madrak I.  I could certainly stand to get more practice in that one, but in this particular case I was more than happy to let the opportunity escape me.

I took Minions out for the first time yesterday for a sort of mini steamroller (three rounds, one list, 35 points, 30 minute deathclock) in order to try to refamiliarize myself with the faction and with Hordes, neither of which I’ve really played very much of in a few years now (and really I’ve never dedicated serious time to Minions).  Low points events are inherently a little silly and people can contribute to that by bringing swingy lists.  Lover of midrange that I am I brought a list that I thought had a little of everything:

(Rask 1) Rask [+27] (Will Work for Food)
– Blackhide Wrastler [16]
– Bull Snapper [5]
– Swamp Horror [15]
– Gatorman Soul Slave [0(5)]
Bog Trog Mist Speaker [4]
Dahlia Hallyr [17]
Eilish Garrity, the Occultist [0(5)]
Orin Midwinter, Rogue Inquisitor [5]

The list generally fared fairly well throughout the evening, and in the hypothetical that I were to try to critique a list built for a 35 point single list format I think I’d only reconsider the Mist Speaker – whom I felt I had to include on the off chance that someone brought a Wraith Engine (or Deneghra II I guess).

Before the event began I played a quick scrimmage game against a local Cygnar player who had done the sensible thing and brought a very powerful and resilient Nemo III list to the event.

(Nemo 3) Artificer General Nemo [+25] (Heavy Metal)
– Dynamo [18]
– Firefly [8]
– Firefly [8]
– Firefly [8]
– Squire [0(5)]
Harlan Versh, Illuminated One [0(4)]
Storm Strider [18]

I went first in this one and was able to leverage that, scenario pressure, and Dark Waters to force Nemo into me.  When he did move in I was able to make kind of an odd play moving Skarath into melee with Dynamo at an angle so that the snake bounced diagonally forward off of Repulsor Field and into melee with Finch, which it used to overtake into Nemo and eat him.  That was a promising start, but I suspected things wouldn’t be so easy if I had to do it again – part of Rask’s game into Nemo has to do with forcing the issue in scenario – which is hard to do in many scenarios in the pack at such a low points level – and if Nemo were able to just wait me out I’d have to be more creative. . .

Round I – The Pit II

Vs.

(Barnabas 2) Barnabas, Lord of Blood [+23] (Will Work for Food)
– Blackhide Wrastler [16]
– Boneswarm [7]
– Gatorman Soul Slave [0(5)]
Orin Midwinter, Rogue Inquisitor [5]
Swamp Gobber Chef [1]
Swamp Gobber Chef [1]
Wrong Eye [17]
Greygore Boomhowler & Co. (min) [11]

I went second here, but that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing to have to do in a reasonably live scenario with Rask’s engagement power.  Barnabas kept fairly central on his side, with the Bone Swarm heading to my right and the Boomhowlers to my left, and Wrongeye and Snapjaw unsurprisingly hugging their boss up the field – so that I would never not have to attack into Star Crossed if I were trying to engage Barny.

I had to split a little around a central Obstruction (of course so did he) and chose to keep Skarath – easily the most dangerous heavy in the army to Barnabas – to my left to start clearing the unit out of that zone and set up scoring on it, and to ensure that Barnabas couldn’t really try to personally threaten Rask without being charged by the snake.  Specifically, Skarath shot and killed Boomhowler while Dahlia cast Haunting Melody and moved up to probably annoy Barnabas a lot later in the game.  The Bull Snapper also went that way, equipped with Fury to trade up if it was allowed to.  On my Right I moved up the Wrastler with Admonition on it and screened it with Veil.  It likely couldn’t do much to scare Barnabas without Rask’s help (hard to provide with the Bone Shakers around) but at least Barnabas couldn’t really feasibly do anything to it either.

Barnabas did move my way, pushing towards the other side of the central obstruction while casting Execration and putting Swarm on himself and otherwise his army mostly tried to play around my threat ranges.  Wrongeye and Snapjaw also toed the central zone to make my scoring it harder, but at an angle that would make actually getting to them a tall order.  Another member of the Boomhowler unit ran at Skarath to engage it but was knocked down by a Retaliatory Strike spray.

Figuring that with my feat left to use very little could actually go wrong either way, I decided to see how close Skarath could come to killing Barnabas at effectively 17/18 with Star Crossed up and three transfers.  I suspected it was pretty close, and that I’d at least be chewing through most of Barnabas’ battlegroup in doing it.  So on my second turn I upkept Fury for free and first charged the Snapper into his objective to see what I could manage there.  What I managed was about 10 damage.  Rask then swapped Fury to Skarath and added Rage on top of that before feating and moving so that Barnabas couldn’t really walk around the building to get to him.  The Soul Slave popped Boundless onto Skarath as well and Dahlia ran to get both her bond onto Barny and also Haunting Melody.  Eilish added Puppet Master to complete the suite of buffs and Skarath charged in and boosted, hit, paralyzing Barny, and very nearly killed the Bone Swarm in one go on the damage roll.  The next three buys were exactly the worst kind for a model with Puppet Master on it – a lot of 6s that I didn’t want to reroll ending in a 7, and when the dust settled the Bone Swarm was dead, the Wrastler was at least hurting, and Barnabas had something like 7 boxes left.

Things didn’t get better for Big B as he had more trouble killing Skarath than he’d like, because none of the Bone Shakers were in walking range to provide Dark Shroud.  He did eventually get through the Snake but couldn’t do a great deal else other than get his Wrastler into the Snapper, which very immediately died.

Barny had deprived himself of Sac Pawn targets with his feat, which made it a much surer thing for me to give Rask Puppet Strings, walk around the building to Paralyze Barnabas with the Harpoon, and then send an overbuffed Swamp Horror in to get me the rest of the way to an assassination.

Round II – Breakdown

Vs.

That same Nemo III list

Sooo, as I mentioned this is game is a much harder one in a situation like this – there’s really only the one scenario element for me to score, and it’s not one that it is hard for Nemo to contest without making huge concessions.  As a result, Dark Waters isn’t a free engage as it was in our prior game.  I did go first in this one, putting Admonition on the Wrastler and Fury on the Horror (which is a nice early game target because it really can’t meaningfully have its DEF reduced).  Nemo wasn’t having it this time, and was very cautious on the advance on his first turn.  So I moved to threaten significantly through the zones, but to generally stay out of 10/11” of his models, and popped my feat, hoping he’d feel more compelled to move into me than he was.  Fury was moved to Skarath this turn.

He unfortunately did not, and mostly spent his second turn shooting at his own Firefly to kill my Snapper, which was keeping the Wrastler company on my right side (the Wrastler did use Admonition to walk away from Orin once the Firefly ran so that at least leaps would only be hitting the two beasts).

I was left, then, with a Firefly in melee with my Wrastler but the true key model, the Strider, about 13.5” away from Skarath, and so a puzzle.  I certainly couldn’t just make attacks on the light in front of me for the turn, even scoring two I’d then immediately lose two beasts to Nemo’s feat and with them the ability to play the game meaningfully.  So I settled for a more ambitious line and had the Wrastler angle itself, Rage itself, and throw the Firefly directly away at such an angle that Skarath could use its entire charge distance to end up a legal charge on it while still moving right at the Storm Strider.  Rask then moved over to put Rage on the Snake and boosted his gun on the knocked down Firefly to be sure that Skarath would kill it in one attack.  Skarath then charged, killed the Firefly, and overtook to be in melee range of the Storm Strider, and wedged against a second Firefly so that I couldn’t be pushed out of melee.  It took my full four buys to do it, but I ate through the Strider and overtook to engage both of the remaining Fireflies.

Nemo on his turn used Forcehammer to disengage the two lights, and his feat and their shots as well as his own to remove the Snake, Dahlia, and Eilish (who I’d moved forward as sort of a firebreak – Dahlia was visible in my Veil of Mists cloud and not stealth because she’d had to run so Eilish moved up close to her but 4” away from Rask so that all Nemo could do was kill her but not in a way that could put damage rolls on Rask.  Dynamo also obliterated the Wrastler.

This all left Nemo a little out in the wind, however, so Rask moved up and shot him (paralysis again) and put Fury on the Horror, and the Soul Slave added Boundless.  It then charged a Firefly that had been sort of screening Nemo from it, dragged him in, and ate him.

Round III – Recon II

Vs.

(Ossrum 1) General Ossrum [+28] (Irregulars)
– Ghordson Avalancher [17]
– Grundback Blaster [6]
– Grundback Gunner [6]
– Grundback Gunner [6]
– Grundback Gunner [6]
Eiryss, Mage Hunter of Ios [0(7)]
Orin Midwinter, Rogue Inquisitor [0(5)]
Horgenhold Artillery Corps [6]
Horgenhold Forge Guard (max) [16]

This was an interesting matchup, as I’m actually a more experienced Ossrum player than my opponent (Vic of the Beer Thralls podcast – go have a listen) but he has also definitely played more Minions and specifically Rask Zoo lists than I have.  Fortunately for me, this was a very live scenario, which is quite a thing for Rask at this point level.  I went second here again, but again it was not such a bad thing for me that I did.  He moved up, put Snipe on the Avalancher and Bullet Dodger on Eiryss, and in return I more or less ran full tilt at him and feated, trying to keep too many of his Gunners/Blasters from having walk and shoot threat on a single heavy.  I kept Skarath and the Horror to my right zone, and the Wrastler toward the left (which ended up being a mild issue when I wanted to start spreading my battlegroup and then remembered that in Hordes this is not so easy a thing to do).

He contested the right zone with most of the Forge Guard unit on his second turn, and ran a Gunner more or less right at the Horror, somewhat screening its charge angles.  Otherwise he mostly remained cautious, and Ossrum set up shop behind his flag.

On my second turn I used the Horror and Skarath to bounce around the back end of the right zone to clear it and kill 8 Forge Guard in the process, and did a little incidental damage otherwise, and capped my flag with Orin, scoring two.  I kept Rask on Four (consciously running a little hot – the Horror was maxed on fury) and in a trench, and tried to move him to prevent Eiryss from drawing a bead – there was a central forest between us.

It is sometimes better to be lucky than good, as I did manage that, and so on his turn Ossrum feated and removed Dahlia (though it took him more effort than it probably should have, again, lucky on my part).  He also killed Orin in the Blaster spray that ultimately killed Dahlia, but did not get back into the right zone, letting me score another point and move to 3 at the end of his turn.  I was able to just run Rask to the flag in that zone to end the game.

All in all, the event was a good time, and a good way to start to get my feet wet in a faction.  Rask is obviously very good, and I think Minions are holistically rock solid at this point.  Minions have a ton of strong and interesting Warlocks, strange and effective tech pieces, and I really love the lesser Warlocks (even Brun at this point).  I can’t promise any protracted periods of dedicated Minions play for a bit, but they’re doing a good job of selling me on the idea of getting them on the table more.

Thanks for reading!

This past weekend I had a chance to get out to a local event that served as a qualifier for a local invitational.  A great local organizer and player (and also writer – see the link to his blog below left) organizes the circuit and also a running commentary on it including periodic updates on faction representation.  Prior to this event he noted that there were only two factions that had not yet made an appearance at a qualifier (of which there had been three): Legion and Convergence.  I have no plans to play any Legion, but I’m not averse to Convergence, and I’d put in two weeks of play into the faction a few weeks ago (five games total) which was surely enough to show up and round out some statistics at an event if nothing else.  This entire set of events makes use of the Master’s packet as well, making limited factions and their invariably formidable ADR sets that much more appealing.

I ended up taking two lists fairly similar to those I’d built and used previously, though as much because I hadn’t played enough games to be sure of their shortcomings as any affirmative reason.

My list set was as follows:

Main List – Axis

(Axis 1) Axis, the Harmonic Enforcer [+30]

– Corollary [6]
– Diffuser [6]
– Galvanizer [5]
– Galvanizer [5]
– Galvanizer [5]
– Galvanizer [5]
– Galvanizer [5]
– Inverter [15]
– Inverter [15]
– Inverter [15]
Attunement Servitors [0(4)]
Elimination Servitors [0(3)]
Reflex Servitors [0(4)]
Reflex Servitors [0(4)]
Optifex Directive [4]
Transfinite Emergence Projector [19]

Sideboard

Diffuser [6]
Inverter [15]
Transfinite Emergence Projector [19]

Main List – Orion

(Orion 1) Eminent Configurator Orion [+28]
– Assimilator [16]
– Assimilator [16]
– Assimilator [16]
– Assimilator [16]
– Corollary [6]
– Diffuser [6]
– Diffuser [6]
Algorithmic Dispersion Optifex [2]
Attunement Servitors [0(4)]
Elimination Servitors [0(3)]
Reflex Servitors [0(4)]
Reflex Servitors [0(4)]
Transfinite Emergence Projector [19]

Sideboard

Diffuser [6]
Inverter [15]
Transfinite Emergence Projector [19]

The event ended up being more well attended than I had expected it to be, given that it was happening concurrently with Captaincon (and a shout-out both to Charles Soong for his strong results there generally and to local Anthony Gibbs for a strong weekend as well).  There were 20 total players (19 and also the organizer as a pitch hitter) and slightly bizarrely 5 Retribution players, and resultantly a total of 9 Arcantrik Force Generators in evidence.  I haven’t been abreast of the cutting edge of Ret list technology, but apparently there was a memo circulated that never reached me, because there were a lot of fairly similar Rahn and Elara II builds about (naturally in Defender’s of Ios).  While my practice games hadn’t provided me a chance to play into Ret, I assumed that an AFG v. TEP fight would be miserable, and so hoped not to have to do that.

I did.

Round I – Pit II

Axis (plus TEP, Minus Three Galvanizers and Optifex Directive)

Vs.

(Rahn 1) Adeptis Rahn [+26]
– Chimera [8]
– Chimera [8]
– Discordia [18]
Aelyth Vyr, Blade of Nyssor [0(5)]
Arcanist Mechanik [2]
Arcanist Mechanik [2]
Priest of Nyssor [0(4)]
Priest of Nyssor [4]
Ryssovass Defenders (max) [16]
Stormfall Archers [9]
Arcantrik Force Generator [17]
Arcantrik Force Generator [17]

This was, as was a theme for the weekend and I have found is a theme for Convergence, a grind.  The the early game involved my trying to leverage Axis’ strong ability to build a strong attritional advantage in DI to push myself far enough ahead that I could coast.  I did pull ahead initially – particularly in removing the Chimeras quickly and making relatively short work of the Defender unit (which I’m not sure I totally understand the inclusion of – but Michael Ireland has endorsed as being sort of alright given the support available in this list to which I say “whatever”).  My opponent intelligently focused on putting himself in a position to be able to strip the TEPs of their defenses and to start to actually grind them down, lest they run away with the game against a somewhat ranged reliant force.  I eventually lost one on my right flank, but at the same point in the game that I collapsed his, and at the end of five turns we both took a moment to assess and recognized that the game itself was very close but that my ability to score absent any dramatic shifts likely would outpace his over the remaining two turns.  This compelled my opponent to commit Rahn himself to help to clear the central zone to shift equilibrium back his way, which left him in a position to threaten a scenario win, but also within 11” of both an Inverter and Diffusor.  The latter aimed and, with its Lucky reroll, pegged the Adeptis, resulting in an assassination win at the end of turn six (I had gone second).  This was a close game throughout, and the final breakdown reflected it – we had both scored 82 army points and I had a slim scenario lead at 7-6.

Having rolled that particular boulder up the hill once I hoped not to have to again, and did not at least immediately.  I was instead paired against another local player whom I know to be a very tough out and a fellow Mercenary player (though a more faithful one).  I was worried he might drop MacBain but he felt that my lists didn’t suit the offensive options available to him with MacBain, so instead he dropped Magnus II, while I dropped Axis again out of concern that Orion’s ranged focus would be too stifled by Countermeasures.

Round II – Breakdown

Axis (as in the first game)

Vs.

(Magnus 2) Magnus the Warlord [+28]
– Buccaneer [6]
– Freebooter [9]
– Freebooter [9]
– Nomad [11]
– Nomad [11]
– Nomad [11]
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution [0(6)]
Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist [0(4)]
Orin Midwinter, Rogue Inquisitor [0(5)]
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord [0(4)]
Kayazy Assassins (max) [15]
– Kayazy Assassin Underboss [4]
Kayazy Eliminators [5]
Kayazy Eliminators [5]
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt [8]
The Devil’s Shadow Mutineers [8]

This time I was able to go first and leveraged that into a very strong early game again (as I am increasingly finding it is easy to achieve with Axis, but which I might want to eschew for a stronger long game given that Convergence doesn’t easily provide the tools for fast scenario wins.  I feated on my second turn (which I believe I did in each instance of playing Axis – I might also want to reconsider that habit because I wasn’t incredibly reliably gaining significant offensive value by using it this way) and largely via TEP attacks took both Freebooters and one Nomad effectively out of the fight before they could effectively engage (with some strong early damage rolls).  Magnus was more patient in using his own feat, and only did so on the fourth turn after having sent in his remaining models and putting both TEPs in danger of being removed with relatively little effort (both ended that turn on five boxes).  I wasn’t overly worried at this point – each TEP was still capable of swinging the game significantly, but became more concerned when neither accomplished a great deal on my next turn – one particularly flubbed its attacks such that of the Devil’s shadow, Eiryss, and two Eliminators it removed only two members of the DSM (I had chosen to make four attacks with three dice to hit on the turn, a configuration that did not prove as reliable as I had hoped).

Magnus took a chance on his turn to execute a scenario gambit and, removing both battle engines, pushed ahead enough that I was not necessarily likely to be able to equilibrate over the remaining turns.  I was left, however, with a shot at Magnus, both an Inverter and Diffusor were in range but engaged by his Buccaneer.  Axis solved that problem by advancing into the scrum and using Battering Ram to clear my lanes and the Diffusor/Inverter pair again ended the game.

Having survived two grinds with Axis I was hoping for a reprieve and possibly a round in which I felt happy with the prospect of Orion, because at this point we were guaranteed to play only four rounds and I was obliged to find a fit for him in the next two.  This did not exactly work out for me – I was dealt another very strong local player for round III (who was also already qualified and crushing dreams throughout the event) who was certainly going to drop his well practiced Kreoss III list.  I did not like the idea of playing Orion into that because it had the range and the mobility to present too many significant threats for Orion to address at once, and without any control effects and backstopped by (poor) Convergence defensive stats he would struggle to hold up.  Fortunately, however, I did think that Orion would be acceptable into either of the other undefeated players – who were playing either Madrak I and Kolgrimma as a pair or Kaelyssa and Ossyan – in the event that I made it through the round.  So I once again dropped Axis.

Round III – Standoff

 
Axis (as previous)

Vs.

(Kreoss 3) Intercessor Kreoss [+28]
– Reckoner [16]
– Redeemer [11]
High Exemplar Gravus [9]
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord [4]
Vassal Mechanik [1]
Vassal Mechanik [1]
Vassal of Menoth [0(3)]
Wrack [1]
Choir of Menoth (min) [4]
Exemplar Vengers (max) [20]
Exemplar Vengers (max) [20]
Idrian Skirmishers (max) [15]
– Idrian Skirmisher Chieftain & Guide [0(5)]

This was the least smooth early game of the event for me – my opponent did a good job of spreading his Vengers so that it was not easy for me to either pick up a dramatic attritional advantage over them or to control his engagement via Circumpotence entirely.  In retrospect this may be an instance in which I want to pair my TEPs so that I can more reliably make dramatic inroads in attrition against a single unit of Vengers and have access to Axis (aha) to feat on the other to help get me through the risk of taking huge chunks of damage at a time from even a couple of cavalry charges.

I also somewhat overestimated by ability to clear Vengers quickly with TEPs (and rolled a little poorly, but not dramatically so).  I consistently put one Servitor each into ROF, Hit and Damage dice and sort of assumed that needing slightly below average rolls in all instances entitled me to kill every Venger I shot at, which it did not and I did not.  While his Warjacks did not contribute to the fight to a huge extent (the Redeemer’s melee damage actually did more than anything else) this was actually a more even to slightly poor attritional fight for me, which prompted me to become more aggressive with my battlegroup towards the center of the table.  On my fifth turn I put one Inverter into his Reckoner – crippling but not destroying it (both its Mace and Cortex were out) and another into the midst of his remaining few Idrians.  Significantly both were potentially in range to threaten Kreoss on the next turn.

The one mingling with his infantry was dealt with by Kreoss himself, who ended the turn on two focus.  The other was left entirely functional but a little scuffed and engaged by his semi-functional Reckoner, a Venger, and the Redeemer, which had done the damage to it in melee.  Not happy with my future prospects I put together a plan to clear that Inverter for a shot at Kreoss, though I did not have a neat way to entirely unengaged it (and Kreoss was at an angle that wouldn’t allow the use of Unstoppable Force to avoid any free strikes).  The Venger was dealt with easily enough via a charging Galvanizer, and I hoped to clear the Redeemer with a boosted Battering Ram from Axis himself.  I carelessly failed to note the scatter of a Flare Servitor early in the turn, however, (it had moved up to point blank to improve my odds of hitting the Venger, which was very nearly base to base with the Redeemer) and missed the boosted roll by one (which was entirely my own fault, we had agreed to just note Flare on the Venger without rolling a deviation at my request).  Instead I was faced with a Free Strike from both of the Warjacks.  It is actually fairly hard to cripple systems on Vectors because they have strange, spread out grids, but I was only working with around 18 hit points at this point and enough damage to the right column was liable to remove the Meteor Hammer, without which I certainly wasn’t assassinating anyone.  After setting things up by Flaring Kreoss and hitting him with the Diffusor I hoped for the best and got very lucky – after both free strikes and relatively poor damage rolls I was left on 13 boxes, but with all systems on the Inverter, which dropped Kreoss with its final attack.

I was a little chagrined to have to get to the finals that way, my opponent played the game very well, but there wasn’t anything to do but to drop Orion and hope for the best.  My luck continued as it turned out to be Retribution I’d face, and a pair not particularly well equipped to handle the fairly unique set of problems he poses.

Round IV – Outlast

 
Orion (Plus a TEP and Inverter, minus two Assimilators and the ADO).

Vs.

(Kaelyssa 1) Kaelyssa, the Night’s Whisper [+29]
– Banshee [18]
– Banshee [18]
Arcanist Mechanik [2]
Arcanist Mechanik [2]
Arcanist Mechanik [2]
Dawnguard Sentinel Scyir [0(4)]
– Hydra [15]
Lanyssa Ryssyl, Nyss Sorceress [0(4)]
Dawnguard Sentinels (max) [18]
– Dawnguard Sentinel Officer & Standard [4]
– Soulless Escort (2) [2]
Dawnguard Sentinels (max) [18]
– Dawnguard Sentinel Officer & Standard [4]
– Soulless Escort (1) [1]

Far from facing my just desserts for locking myself into Orion for the final, I was given a game in which he was pretty dramatically advantaged.  Taking the first turn I moved my TEPs and battlegroup into position to threaten through both zones and prepared to sandpaper, looking also to take the Sentinel units one at a time if I could to punish them for their mediocre threat ranges absent Vengeance.  He both Feated and mini-feated in order to help to get himself through the prospect of a very hard engage as best he could but was also conscious that he couldn’t simply throw the Sentinels forward because not even their relatively formidable armor would reliably hold up against the TEPs.

It did not, though because he was cautious in playing around my TEP kill zones I focused on chewing through about half of one of the two units and doing damage to his Hydra and Scyir on my next turn, semi-consciously ceding one TEP to force his forces closer.  That TEP did go down in response, clearing a zone and allowing him to build an early scenario lead but the remainder of his infantry was exposed as a result, and the second TEP combined with Ground Pounder shots to remove most of it and further damage the Hydra as well as chip the paint on one Banshee, and I scored in retaliation to leave him up at this point 2-1.  He started to move his battlegroup models into the fight at this point, and removed my Inverter, which had committed to help remove the last of the Sentinels.  He did not score, however, and I did, leveling us at 2-2.

Both a Banshee and the Hydra ended his turn with focus on them, which prompted me to feat, and I moved to start pushing for a scenario win via attrition, leaving him with a scuffed Banshee (it had taken something like 8-10 damage) as well as two Sentinels with weapons, a Soulless, the Standard for the surviving Sentinels, and Lanyssa, who had been hiding in one zone behind a forest.  I scored both flags at he end of the turn to put myself ahead 4-2.

There was relatively little he could do to alter the inevitable tide of attrition at this point, but I did not have an enormous amount of time left (about four minutes) so he committed his Banshee to doing damage to one of my two Assimilators, both of which were in the zone occupied by the Myrmidon and behind which Kaelyssa was camping out behind a wall.  The other models mostly moved into range to contest both flags.

Starting the turn up two I needed to score three to win outright, and thought I could, needing only to clear two models contesting my flags and to finish the Banshee to be able to move Orion into that zone.  It took a little longer to do the latter than I expected, but six focus worth of attacks from my Assimilators (Orion had activated earlier and moved into that zone to shift to MAT 6 which, combined with a Flare, made melee a less dicey proposition) eventually did it in, and the flags were cleared without issue, allowing me to end the game with about 30-40 seconds on my clock.

Had things really gone south I would hopefully have had the win on his next turn – as Orion was fairly safe from Kaelyssa (he had two Shield Guards and was camping four) and none of his remaining models would have been able to reach the zone Orion occupied to prevent my scoring it.

All in all I was at least as lucky as good throughout the day, but was very happy to have a chance to roughly double my experience with Convergence in a trial by fire.  I’m not so sure I’ll be so fortunate if I run into either of my last two opponents in the invitational (top three in each qualifier receive invites) but I look forward to finding out.

Thanks for reading!